Franceschini lambasts 'absurd' museum court ruling

Dario Franceschini

ROME—The Lazio regional administrative court (TAR), has struck down five of the twenty appointments as directors for some of the so-called “super-museums” in Italy.

The positions were recently released to international candidates in order to find the best possible choices for the role.

However, Il Sole 24 Ore has revealed that five of these appointments have been rejected as the court stated, “it is not possible to allow the participation in the selection process of non-Italian citizens.”

The museums involved are the Gallerie Estensi di Modena, the National Archaeology Museum of Taranto, the National Archaeology Museum of Reggio Calabria, the National Archaeology Museum of Naples and the Ducale Palace of  Mantova.

The news of the court’s decision to reject the appointments infuriated Dario Franceschini, the Italian Minister for Culture.

“The world has seen Italian museums change in two years and now the Lazio TAR cancels the appointment of 5 directors,” tweeted Franceschini.

“I’m speechless, and that’s for the best,” he added.

“We will immediately appeal to the Council of the State. I’m worried about how Italy looks to the rest of the world and about the practical consequences, because as of today some museums don’t have a director.”

"I am an experienced lawyer and politician. I know that you should not comment on sentences but combat them in the right place.”

The three elements challenged by the judicial panel were the appraisal of the candidates after assessing their qualifications, the interviews behind closed doors and the participation of aspiring foreign directors.

Nevertheless, Franceschini described the distinguishing of a candidate based on their nationality as “absurd,” highlighting that the director of the National Gallery in London is Italian and the director at the British Museum is German.

Former Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, said that the court’s decision confirmed that Italy could not continue being a republic “based on quibbles and complaints.”