twelve o’clock, April 6, 2021 – 07:45 am

of Vincenzo Trione

A stumbling block? No. A symptom. The clue to a precise idea of ​​culture. Enzo d’Errico did well to reflect, with his usual intelligence, on the “wrong appointments” of the Campania Region in the scientific committees of the Capodimonte Museum, the Archaeological Museum, the Royal Palace of Caserta and the Archaeological Park of Paestum.
In Italy, these consultative bodies often have a purely decorative role. In other countries of the world, however, they perform a decisive task: they are the heart of museum institutions. Not places where choices are ratified, but laboratories of intelligence. Authentic think tank, who accompany the Directors. They support them in the directions, in the guidelines, in the definition of strategies, in the articulation of schedules. Aware of these functions, the Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini has identified, in many cases, important personalities and experience for the scientific committees of the major Italian museums and archaeological sites, managing to overcome even ancient conflicts: in this sense, the involvement by Tomaso Montanari in the scientific committee of the Girolamini. Different intentions have moved the President of the Campania Region, who has integrated the scientific committees of Capodimonte, Mann, the Royal Palace of Caserta and Paestum with figures who have no relationship with the history of art and archeology.

Without a requirement deemed indispensable by Article 12 of the 2014 Decree on the organization and operation of state museums (“proven scientific and professional qualification in the field of protection and enhancement of cultural heritage”). These are figures who could not distinguish a painting by Titian from one by Caravaggio, Mattia Preti or Alberto Burri; that would confuse an Etruscan find with a Roman one; and who, perhaps, do not know what the difference is between an architecture by Vanvitelli and one by Juvarra. It is the degeneration of a time in which too often “knowledge” risks being a limit. How would you react if the pilot of a plane did not have a license to drive? Would you entrust the design of your home to a biologist or a physicist? Why, on the other hand, is no one scandalized by the ease with which certain appointments are made? Episodes? We repeat it: symptoms, indications. The confirmation of a precise attitude, in surprising contrast with the open and “international” action that had characterized the work of De Luca-mayor (we still remember the presence of some archistars in Salerno). Campania led by De Luca is a Region in which culture is not considered as a sector of extraordinary economic and employment potential, due to its intertwining with tourism and with the enhancement of the territories. It is treated as a marginal area, to be managed from an “extra-country” point of view, at the most useful for favoring some friends. Without taking into account the skills. Direct consequence of this “philosophy”, De Luca’s choice to renounce a councilor for culture, claiming the delegation to himself. Furthermore, the President has called Patrizia Boldoni as a consultant, of whom few know the running for office in the field of cultural heritage. Finally, the decision to “bring” to Capodimonte, the Mann, the Royal Palace of Caserta and Paestum a dynamic and skilled priest (Father Loffredo), a valid regional manager (Rosanna Romano), a local politician (Emilio Di Marzio) and the Chairman and sole director of Scabec (Antonio Bottiglieri). Worthy people, but inadequate to enter organs that require specific knowledge. Without forgetting some obvious conflicts of interest (the role of Scabec in the Campania cultural heritage system and that of Rosanna Romano in the management of funds in the cultural sector of the Region). Wrong appointments, in fact. Which, according to some rumors, seems to be pushing Father Loffredo to resign. Yet, in this historical phase, the scientific committees should act as necessary critical spaces. For example, a strong scientific committee would have helped the Director of Capodimonte to be more cautious in certain initiatives: like when he opened the halls of the art gallery to artists of modest quality, not yet recognized by critics, such as Iago and La Motta: a great museum it is a landing place, not a departure. A strong scientific committee would also have pushed Sylvain Bellenger to avoid lending Capodimonte to the scene of Andrea Sannino’s video clip. And again: a strong scientific committee could push a Director to question the revolution that museums are about to face. On the one hand, today they are forced to rethink their philosophy, redefining the programs of exhibitions, rearranging the heritage of the collections, giving new centrality to that prodigious deposit that are archives and deposits. On the other hand, they can no longer evade the challenge of confronting the web and social media, agora in which images, texts and information are generated, distributed and shared, starting listening and participatory dialogue initiatives through apps and platforms. . Like schools, universities, libraries and archives, museums, in the near future, will have to adopt a blended model. Learning to juggle in a dual motive force geography, in which world and “beyond the world” are connected, merge and combine. A serious, rigorous scientific committee made up of competent figures should discuss these current and urgent issues. But – you know – ours is no longer the land of skills.

April 6, 2021 | 07:45

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