All Venice’s civic museums are to be marketed by a new limited company. Fifty-one per cent of the shares are held by the Comune and forty-nine per cent by the Réunion des Musées Nationaux, which has already applied the same approach to French State museums.
“Our aim is to draw a distinction between commercial operations and our cultural programme, as they already do at the Louvre or the Metropolitan”, stated Gianfranco Mossetto, Assessore alla Cultura for Venice. “This is something new for Italy and our scheme could pave the way for other similar enterprises, although each scheme would have to take local differences into account. The new company will control press communications, organise visitors, coordinate restoration projects, manage merchandising and collect royalties. In the future, it will also manage seven shops due to be set up in conjunction with the museums for the sale of local products and objects relating to the museum collection.”
Cultural programming will be taken care of by Foundations, responsible for the restoration of museums, their reorganisation, permanent and temporary displays and the exhibitions themselves. Activities will still be divided between three centres. Art before 1800 will be based around Piazza San Marco, but may be extended to the Punta della Dogana. Contemporary art activities will be based around the Biennale gardens. The third nucleus will embrace the lagoon and island museums (the Burano lace museum has recently been included among the civic museums) and the Natural History museum. There is good news for the pre-1800 art group: it looks likely that the J. Paul Getty Trust is interested in a participating role.