As first event of MAMA, Master in Arts Management and Administration 4th edition, this conference hosted a discussion around the management of cultural heritage sites in Italy, taking the perspectives of foreign professionals working in the sector.
Rachel Sanderson, Correspondent of Financial Times led the roundtable with Eike Schmidt (Director of Uffizi Gallery, Firenze), Peter Aufreiter (Director of National Gallery of the Marche, Urbino) and Andrea Rurale (MAMA Director).
The two top professionals reported their experience and underlined how the extreme beauty and richness of Italian cultural heritage, despite some challenges and deficiencies, represents a unique opportunity for attracting resources and create value for the communities.
The innovative approaches brought by the new directors have been important to revamp the sector
At the Uffizi Gallery for example, explains the Director Eike Schmidt, we worked seriously on the visitors' experience by rethinking the spaces in order to enhance the experience and ensure the possibility to benefit from it and enjoy the opportunity. Since the beginning of his mandate he was able to open 9 new rooms, but the innovation was not only on the internal organisation. Mr. Schmidt worked on the ticketing, introducing different price policies in different seasons in order to attract the visitors also in the low-season.
On the other hand, Peter Aufreiter, faces the huge challenge of making visitors enter the Palazzo Ducale in Urbino. Communication has not always be effective but over the past few years he was able to reach more than 230.000 visitors per year, despite the challenges related to the accessibility of Urbino and the recent earthquakes. Palazzo Ducale should be a place open to everybody, continues Aufreiter, where both visitors interested in contemporary art and classic art, young and adult, find a space.
Andrea Rurale underlines that the need for management skills in the art sector is more and more important every year. Art professionals are requested to maximize their impact with the limited resources available, but it also true that most institutions are not able to fully exploit the resources they already have. We aim at training professionals able to balance the management needs with the artistic ones and at supporting the creation of sustainable cultural institutions.
SDA Bocconi School of Management