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Which services does the Directorate-General of Museums perform, which projects does it coordinate and which enterprises does it promote?



Museum services


In addition to organising exhibitions, cultural events and promotional enterprises, to meet the need to develop cultural heritage and promotion, every museum must offer the public the following services:

  • Access, welcome and info point
  • On-site and online ticketing
  • Guided tours and educational assistance
  • Consultation of materials on file and implementation of scientific activities
  • Editorial service
  • Bookshop and sales through e-commerce
  • Café and refreshments

As envisaged by the Cultural Heritage Code (art. 115), the so-called additional services can be managed directly or indirectly through assignment to private parties.

The tendering of cultural services does not transfer the entire management of the heritage but only the exercise of certain accessory activities. By concession of public service, on the other hand, the Management transfers tasks of development and management of cultural heritage to the licensee.

Between 2009 and 2010, the Ministry published and updated the so-called “Guidelines to the activation and licensing of services to the public in Italian cultural institutions”.

The Directorate-General of Museums is responsible for updating these guidelines to implement legislative changes, and for preparing models of calls for tender and agreements for the licensing of services to the public to third parties. For integrated territorial development of cultural assets, the Directorate also draws up agreements with other public and private organisations for the management of shared instrumental services for visitors, operating through the Museum complexes.


The Service Quality Charter is the act with which the museum presents itself to the public with a brief description of its identity and mission, the functions and the activities that it performs; it identifies the services, forms and methods via which users can access them. Therefore, it performs the dual function of museum presentation and charter of user rights.

The Charter is regularly updated. It is a communicative and informative tool which enables users to learn about the services offered and to check that the commitments undertaken are fulfilled, and to express their assessments, also in the form of complaint.


Set up within the Directorate-General of Antiquities (Ministerial Decree 21 January 1987), the Museum Projects Centre is responsible for planning and research in the museum sector, and for sustaining museums in the planning and renovation of exhibition spaces, and educational and communications equipment.

In 2006, the Centre launched a survey on museum layouts in the archaeological sector, with the aim of documenting the most innovative Italian museum experiences and offering museum professionals and technical-informative consulting services. The results are available at

The website presents a series of examples of innovative archaeology museum layouts in Italy. The term “innovative” refers to the combination of exhibition choices that try out new ways of communicating with the public and simplify the visit, implementing solutions studied for various aspects of access.

The aim is to set up an info point for operators in the museum sector, providing an overview of creations which, in their display, educational and communicative aspects, offer a good level of interaction with the public, while ensuring the best possible access at all levels.


If sustained by “system” strategies and aimed at all the other resources that characterise and represent the distinctive signs of a territory, the enhancement of cultural heritage can play an important role in supporting the economic development of local communities.

The Directorate-General of Museums envisages the preparation of agreements with the regions and local public and private authorities that are involved, including cultural or voluntary associations with the right requisites, for the management of shared instrumental services, aimed at the promotion of cultural heritage.


To meet the new needs of a dynamic society projected into the international dimension, Italian museums must be increasingly involved in the process of cultural support for the political dimension of Europe and play an active role in enterprises aimed at encouraging the international dynamism of the institutions.

The Directorate-General of Museums works to plan, coordinate and support international enterprises, undertaking to build relationships between Italian and foreign cultural institutions, acting to encourage the circulation of works for events organised between them. The construction of these processes of knowledge and dissemination of Italian culture abroad are manifested in collaboration with the structures of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and in conjunction with the office of the Diplomatic Councillor of the Ministry, with the implementation of multilateral projects with international organisations, the European Union and foreign institutions.

A tangible operational example is the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on Partnerships for the Promotion of Cultural Heritage between the Ministry of cultural heritage of the Italian Republic and the State Administration for Cultural Heritage of the Peoples Republic of China, signed during the official visit to Rome by the Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China, Wen Jabao, on the 7th of October 2010.



Set up in 2014 to sustain sponsorship in favour of cultural heritage, the Art Bonus is an Italian tax credit for liberal cash donations in support of culture and the arts. Thanks to the Art Bonus, those who make liberal cash donations to support culture enjoy tax benefits in the form of tax credits in Italy.

What does it involve

65% tax credit for donations in favour of:

  • maintenance, protection and restoration of public cultural heritage;
  • museums, archaeological sites and public libraries;
  • public theatres and symphonic lyrical foundations.

This credit is divided into three equal annual shares (it can be offset by companies), and is acknowledged to:

  • physical persons and non-commercial organisations, with a limit of 15% of their taxable income;
  • those with business income, with a limit of 5 per thousand of their annual revenues.


  • Legislation: art. 1 of Decree-Law no. 83, dated 31 May 2014, “Urgent provisions for the defence of cultural heritage, development of culture and relaunch of tourism”, converted with amendments into Law no. 106, dated 29 July 2014, and subsequent amendments.
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