Italian Government May Cut Major Jobs at Bologna Museums

De-funding looks like a possibility the administration might have to face.

Museo Civico Archeologico (Archeological Museum), Bologna, part of the Istituzione Bologna Musei (Institute of Bologna Museums). Photo courtesy of Musei Bologna, Museo Civico Archeologico.
Museo Civico Archeologico (Archeological Museum), Bologna, part of the Istituzione Bologna Musei (Institute of Bologna Museums). Photo courtesy of Musei Bologna, Museo Civico Archeologico.

According to a statement released by the government of Bologna on August 3, administrative positions at the Istituzione Bologna Musei at put in jeopardy as the institute faces de-funding upon the government decisions to reshape Bologna’s museum system—particularly current director of Istituzione Bologna Musei, Laura Carlini Fanfogna, whose contract is nearing its end with an expiration date of September 30, 2016.

The statement released by the Government reads: “The administration will not proceed to cover the position of director of the Institute of Bologna Museums, currently covered under a management contract with a predetermined time frame. A reflection on the integrated museum system will be launched and shared with the next appointed board of directors, after which the future organizational structure and leadership requirements will be designated.”

The Istituzione Bologna Musei (Institute of Bologna Museums) is made up of a number of museums around the city of Bologna, which serves to tell the story of the metropolis through its collections of art, music, history, and archaeology—from the when the city was founded up to the innovation of contemporary society, as noted on the institution’s website.

MAMbo (Museum of Modern Art Bologna), Bologna, part of the Istituzione Bologna Musei (Institute of Bologna Museums). Photo by Matteo Monti courtesy of MAMbo.

MAMbo (Museum of Modern Art Bologna), Bologna, part of the Istituzione Bologna Musei (Institute of Bologna Museums). Photo by Matteo Monti courtesy of MAMbo.

In addition to the risk posed to Carlini Fanfogna, the decision poses ulterior threats to Lorenzo Sassoli de’ Bianchi’s position as “historical president” of both the institute and of MAMbo—Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, which is one of the museums that comes under the umbrella of  the Istituzione Bologna Musei, according to, Il Giornale dell’Arte.

Carlini Fanfogna, who, prior to her 2015 election as director of Istituzione Bologna Musei, was the director of the Institute for Cultural Assess of Emilia Romagna, publicly expressed her surprise at the decision.

“For me, it came like thunder out of clear skies, I don’t know anything about the municipality’s project,” she told Il Giornale dell’Arte.

Courtyard of Museo Civico Medievale (Medieval Museum), Bologna, part of the Istituzione Bologna Musei (Institute of Bologna Museums). Photo courtesy of Bologna Musei.

Courtyard of Museo Civico Medievale (Medieval Museum), Bologna, part of the Istituzione Bologna Musei (Institute of Bologna Museums). Photo courtesy of Bologna Musei.

However, Sassoli de’ Bianchi, whose position is also at risk, showed understanding at the decision, stating to Il Giornale dell’Arte: “The procedure seems correct to me, we are currently in charge of routine administration.”

The role of director of MAMbo has also fallen to Carlini Fanfogna, as the position has remained vacant since the departure of her predecessor, Gianfranco Maraniello, over a year ago.


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