Galleria Borghese, Rome.

Italy to Again Allow Foreign Applicants for Top Museum Posts

After the reappointment of former culture minister Dario Franceschini, a centrist who ushered in a wave of non-Italian museum directors in 2015, the Italian Culture Ministry is once again opening up the nation’s top cultural leadership posts to international applicants and promising museums their cultural and political autonomy. Alberto Bonisoli, who served as the country’s conservative culture minister from 2018 to 2019, had preferred to look inward for hires; his appointment signaled the political alignment of his party—the Five Star Movement—with the right-wing, anti-immigrant League Party’s political coalition, which collapsed last fall.

Cecilie Hollberg, the German-born former director of the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence, departed her post last August when her contract was not renewed. Now, she has accepted an invitation to return to the museum with a four-year contract, reports Monopol. (Austrian directors Peter Aufreiter, formerly of the Ducal Palace in Mantua, and Peter Assmann, of the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche in Urbino, also departed under Bonisoli’s stint as culture minister.)

On Wednesday, the ministry posted thirteen new directorship listings, including positions at the Galleria Borghese in Rome, the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, the Palazzo Reale in Naples, and the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Bologna. Applications are due March 3. Franceschini said he sought an end to the “provincial discussion” regarding directors’ nationalities. “It’s about choosing the best,” he said. Franceschini also confirmed that the Uffizi and the Galleria dell’Accademia would remain independent.