May 4, 2009

Italy's Heritage

Few years ago a UNESCO report was proudly announced in Italy as a further proof of the cultural and artistic leadership of the country, according to UNESCO almost half of the entire world's artistic and cultural heritage was in Italy, a concentration of art, archeological sites, museums, landmark buildings that has no comparison abroad.
If properly managed the Italian heritage could be a gold mine for the battered Italian economy.
Italian government has decided to act on the state of mismanagement and decay affecting the country's heritage appointing Mario Resca former boss of McDonald’s in Italy in charge of 3,600-odd government-run museums and archaeological sites.
Mario Resca is at the same time in the Board of the Mondadori Group and Eni Spa.
He declared that he wants to start with a marketing, revenue generating promotion of our heritage.
Italy’s heritage is badly managed. Some of its museums are unwelcoming places with poor facilities. The most popular, the Uffizi in Florence, came only 21st in a 2007 World Ranking with just 1.6m visits and the 2008 ranking is even worst with only the Vatican Museum (not managed by the Italian Government) making among the top world museums (see table above) . Yet attractions that are more popular are not necessarily well conserved. The ruins of Pompeii drew 2.6m visitors in 2007, but such is the dilapidation at the site that the government has declared a state of emergency.
Civil Protection (the equivalent of FEMA in USA) had to intervene to simply manage the site and even more incredible was its intervention in the restoration process of a statue in Florence.
Since the government and local authorities are unable to manage on a normal basis any public service due to red tape, bribery and sloppiness the only solution for prompt and deadlined interventions is to declare it by decree a national emergency, then Civil Protection can intervene, use the emergency funds and solve the mess in a certain and short time.
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