The Civic Museums of Venice, financed 99% by their own revenues, are in first place in the ranking of the most virtuous Italian museums by degree of financial autonomy, according to the 2019 financial statements. These are the data of a survey on museums and public cultural sites of the our country with the management best practices proposed in the book ‘Economics of culture’ (Edizioni Pigreco) by Marco Causi, professor of Political Economy at the University of Roma Tre.
High percentages also reach the Egyptian Museum of Turin and the Colosseum (88%), the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence (81%) and the Uffizi (67%), the Savoy residences of Turin (66%), Pompeii (65% ) and the Borghese Gallery (59%). However, not all state museums exhibit high levels of financial autonomy. In most of the institutions analyzed, the level of self-management is below 35 per cent. The lowest percentages are in Campania: in the Campi Flegrei Archaeological Park (6%) and in the Capodimonte Museum (3%). Between 2006 and 2019 Italy, together with France, conquered the European leadership in turnout to museums with an increase of 2.2% – 2.3% on average every year.
“The culture sector, together with tourism, public establishments and transport, was one of the most affected by the pandemic. The main sufferers were live cultural activities, where the new health safety regulations will exert a boost on production costs.
We now need to understand if and when consumer demand will return to pre-pandemic levels and with what changes, “says Causi.
The ‘cost disease’ of live entertainment, explains the professor of Economics and Politics, can be cured through the use of new technologies, the innovation of formats and events. An example are the festivals that always meet with a high approval by the public with positive economic effects on the cities and territories. Other resources, which will however concern the entire culture and tourism sector, will come from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan: € 6.7 billion, to be spent by 2024, aimed at the physical and digital accessibility of cultural sites, the recovery of historic villages, the protection and enhancement of architecture and rural landscapes.
Another action plan concerns families. In Italy, cultural participation rates are diversified across the territory: the average expenditure for cultural consumption of a northern family is almost double that in the southern regions and is 30% higher than that of the central regions. However, these percentages are low compared to the European averages.
The text, designed for students of universities and of master’s and specialization courses in economics and management of cultural assets and activities, is accessible to all and is accompanied by a wide information and statistical apparatus and by Italian, European and international. One of these is that of China where, in the years preceding the pandemic, museum admissions were about 1.2 billion a year, 14 times more than in 2000 and more than double compared to 2010.
The book will be presented in Rome, on June 15 at Maxxi at 6.30 pm, in the presence of the author, with interventions by the president of the Maxxi Giovanna Melandri, the president and superintendent of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia Michele dall’Ongaro, the director of the Master in Economics and Management of Cultural Heritage of the University of Rome Tre Michela Marchiori, the deputy and member of the Culture, Science and Education Commission Flavia Piccoli Nardelli, the director of the magazine Economia della Cultura Pietro Antonio Valentino and the director of the School of Heritage and of cultural activities at the Ministry of Culture Alessandra Vittorini.

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