Italy mu­se­ums see record at­ten­dance

Austin American-Statesman - - MORE OF TODAY’S TOP NEWS -

Ital­ian state mu­se­ums are on track for an­other record-set­ting year in 2017 in terms of vis­i­tors and rev­enue, with the out­door Colos­seum in Rome and Pom­peii near Naples top­ping the Cul­ture Min­istry’s most-vis­ited and most-lu­cra­tive list.

The min­istry Mon­day is­sued a three-year re­view of its rev­o­lu­tion­ary de­ci­sion to bring in non-Ital­ian di­rec­tors for some of the gems of its na­tional mu­seum net­work, and to give the in­sti­tu­tions greater au­ton­omy. The re­sults were sig­nif­i­cant: an 18.5 per­cent in­crease in the num­ber of vis­i­tors na­tion­wide from 2013-2016, and a 38.4 per­cent in­crease in rev­enue — or about 48.5 mil­lion — to 175 mil­lion eu­ros last year.

Cul­ture Min­is­ter Dario Frances­chini said the min­istry’s re­forms “are start­ing to bear fruit.” He praised a con­tin­ued “rad­i­cal in­ver­sion of trends,” with vis­i­tor num­bers al­ready up 9.4 per­cent and rev­enues up 13.5 per­cent in the first nine months of 2017.

With more UNESCO her­itage sites than any other coun­try, Italy’s out­door cul­tural pat­ri­mony is one of its big­gest draws — Rome’s Colos­seum and Fo­rum, the la­goon city of Venice and the Ro­man am­phithe­ater of Sira­cusa to name a few.

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