A range of Italian museums and archaeological sites are to receive significant investment. Earlier this week, the Italian culture ministry approved a package of €80million for the period 2015–16, which will allow for the completion of existing capital projects at major attractions including the Colosseum and the Uffizi. They will be first beneficiaries of the ‘Art Bonus’ tax break, unveiled by culture minister Dario Franceschini last year with the aim of encouraging both individual patrons and businesses to invest in the country’s culture sector.
The projects that will benefit are concentrated in the centre and north of the country, with further funds (nearly €500million) already earmarked for a ‘Culture and Development’ programme in the south. The headline winners are the Uffizi, which will receive €18million for the completion of its ‘Grandi Uffizi’ project, expanding the museum’s exhibition spaces, and the Colosseum, which stands to gain €18.5million for a restoration and renovation project that has been sluggish to date.
Museum buildings that will now be completed include the Museum of the Ancient Ships of Pisa (Museo delle Navi), which will house the remains of Roman ships recovered from archaeological sites in the city, and the National Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah (il Museo nazionale dell’Ebraismo Italiano e della Shoah) in Ferrara. The Certosa in Pavia will receive €7million towards restoration and touristic development, and the Papal Arsenal in Rome will be transformed into an exhibition centre for contemporary art through the investment of a comparable sum. Projects in Turin, L’Aquila, Aquileia and Spello are among the others that will be supported.
Dario Franceschini said that the focus on existing projects would help ‘to avoid the creation of new building sites before the current ones are finished with’. ‘We are finally concentrating on investing in national heritage’, he also commented.