President of Turin Museum Foundation Resigns Amid Spat with City Mayor

It has turned into a public blame-game.

Patrizia Asproni. Courtesy Youtube.

Patrizia Asproni, President of the Turin Museum Foundation, has stepped down from her position amid a fiery clash with the new city mayor, Chiara Appendino, who has been causing a stir since she took office in June.

The feud began last week upon news that an important sponsor for the upcoming Édouard Manet exhibition to be staged in Turin had pulled out, citing the city’s apparent lack of interest in hosting the show, according to The Guardian.

Appendino’s immediate reaction to the loss of sponsorship was to call for Asproni’s resignation. “The city cannot tolerate that the foundation is not able to maintain relationships with important sponsors,” Appendino said in a statement to the press.

Chiara Appendino. Courtesy MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images.

Chiara Appendino. Courtesy MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images.

For her part, though, Asproni is fighting back. The Turin Museum Foundation has been hailed for its work under Asproni’s tenure, credited for increasing tourism in the city and building Turin’s reputation as a cultural destination in Italy. Since her appointment in 2013, the city has seen up to a 42 percent rise in visitors to the city’s museums, according to The Huffington Post Italia.

Moreover, Appendino has been accused of undermining museum affairs in the city. The Guardian reports that during her campaign for city mayor, she argued heavily that Turin should avoid “blockbuster” exhibitions to instead concentrate on “making the city’s museums more accessible for the local population.”

Thus, who the onus falls on to take responsibility for the loss of sponsorship remains unclear, and has turned into a public blame-game. “It is a terrible thing that the mayor wants to decide which exhibitions go to museums,” Asproni said in an interview on Monday.

“I think this was a political move because of course I arrived with the previous mayor and he asked me to build the culture of the town and I said: ‘Yes, of course, why not?’”

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