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Italy’s National Museum System has kicked off

The Commission for the National Museum System was appointed by Minister Alberto Bonisoli with Decree dated 9 August 2018.

Thus, after a long study process, the Italy’s National Museum System, a network of museums and cultural places connected to each other in order to improve the use, accessibility and sustainable management of the cultural heritage, is born.

On 4th April the Ministerial Decree dated 21 February 2018 was published, containing the «Adoption of uniform minimum quality levels for public museums and cultural places and activation of the National Museum System».
In addition to state cultural places (article 101 of the Cultural Heritage and Landscape Code), museums not belonging to the state, both public and private, may access the System, on a voluntary basis and through a defined accreditation system as laid down in the Decree.

The uniform quality levels for museums are the instrument for activating the System and for achieving the aims it pursues, also adopted through the Decree and listed in the substantial attachment, which constitutes the result of a lengthy interdisciplinary work carried out in implementation of art. 114 of the Cultural Heritage and Landscape Code.

Distributed in three areas (I. Organisation, II. Collections, III. Communications and relations with the region), these uniform quality levels are an important document to verify the museums’ compliance with the minimum standards.
Considering the variety of our cultural places, due to historical and territorial reasons, the definition of museum standards and the establishment of a National System appear to finalise the reorganisation reform by the Ministry (Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers no. 171/2014), but can also be an opportunity for growth for small museums and a reference document in order to define progress and improvement objectives.

The National Museum System is headed by the Directorate-General of Museums and is coordinated on a regional and provincial basis, according to the procedures defined in the decree.

The Director-General of Museums, Antonio Lampis, issued the Decree falling within his competence for the first guidelines concerning the organisation and operation of the National Museum System, already the basis of discussions with ICOM, ANCI, other trade associations and representatives of the Regions.

In line with the first talks held with Minister Bonisoli and with the programming indications recently given in Parliament by the President of the Council of Ministers, the Directorate-General of Museums has put in place a system to link museums and an accreditation system for those who reach the minimum quality levels without paper exchanges, based on self-evaluation models on an IT platform, which can also be used for subsequent and periodic verifications, according to models successfully tested by large operators who evaluate public services, such as TripAdvisor.

The decree approving the first guidelines concerning the system’s organisation and operation establishes that the Commission provided for by Ministerial Decree no. 113/2018 should be organised and operate in “zero bureaucracy” mode. Its functioning is based on constant digital communication between members, with a stably allowed and encouraged use of videoconferences and of consent which can generally be expressed through the IT platform. The accreditation process will produce a vote from 0 to 10, which may be viewed by anyone.

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