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Online Petition Calls for Anna Coliva to Be Reinstated as Director of Galleria Borghese

Following the Italian Ministry of Culture’s six-month suspension of Anna Coliva, the director of Rome’s Galleria Borghese, without pay, supporters of the museum professional have rallied in her defense. An online petition demanding her immediate reinstatement as head of the iconic gallery was signed by more than 1,500 people by Monday, May 7.

Coliva is expected to stand trial on charges of absenteeism and defrauding the public. The allegations against her were first brought to the attention of the ministry by an anonymous complaint. It then began an investigation into the director’s conduct in 2014, which revealed that she visited the gym without authorization during work hours.

“We ask the Italian minister of culture and the department to reconsider these allegations, and to wait for outcome of the criminal trial, instigated anonymously, against the director who has in the past twelve years raised funds of over 12 million euros, amongst many other monetary and non-monetary achievements made on behalf of the Italian community,” the petition read.

“We request the immediate ‪revocation of the aforementioned suspension pending the sentence of the criminal court in order to safeguard the Galleria Borghese, convinced that the return of Anna Coliva is the best guarantee to preserve the activities and reputation of one of the most important museums in Italy.”

The controversy over Coliva’s suspension came on the heels of the gallery’s popular Gian Lorenzo Bernini exhibition, which closed in February. According to the Art Newspaper, the retrospective brought the institution $3 million in revenue.