Budget Cuts Threaten Rome’s Museum of Contemporary Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome (Macro). Photo: via A Trip to Rome.

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome (Macro) is allegedly facing closure after the city slashed its budget, reports the Art Newspaper.

Alberta Campitelli, whose one-year term as interim director ended July 1st, when her contract expired, has taken to local papers to publicize the museum’s plight.  In terms of municipal funding, she told Italian newspaper La Repubblica, “We literally have €5,000 a month” (or about $6,800). In 2013, the museum received €350,000 ($476,000), but that amount was reduced to a mere  €61,000 ($83,000) for the current year.

Macro has been without a permanent director since last June, when Bartolomeo Pietromarchi stepped down. With such limited resources to fund its operations, it seems likely that the institution will have difficulty attracting a new leader.

The museum is not the only one in the city that is feeling the pinch. In April, Flavia Barca, Rome’s culture councilor, announced that funding for the city’s culture and heritage sector was being reduced by €10–15 million ($13.6–20.4 million). Rome’s other contemporary art museum, the MAXXI National Museum of 21st-Century Arts, has also experienced dramatic budget cuts in recent years, and was nearly shut down by the government due to its financial difficulties. Later this summer, MAXXI will close its doors for six weeks to undergo a complete overhaul (see artnet News report).

Despite its reduced circumstances, Macro’s potential shuttering is still a ways off, as most of its exhibition programming costs are covered by sponsors. “The exhibitions are programmed, and funded, until spring 2015,” promises Campitelli.

UPDATE: According to MAXXI, they have scrapped plans to close during its planned reboot. As the museum informed artnet News on Twitter, “the information aren’t updated but, yes, there will be a fresh restart with a special exhbition.”

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