Manager of Royal Palace of Caserta Felicori to retire

CASERTA - Mauro Felicori, manager of the Royal Palace of Caserta in Southern Italy, will retire on October 31 due to ‘age reasons’, authorities said on Wednesday.

 The notice came via a Facebook post on his wall. He was assigned the role in October 2015, following a competition that took place during the so-called “Franceschini reforms” by the Minister of Cultural Activities. He appointed 20 managers; seven in the first group, of whom the Royal Palace was a part of, and 13 in the second, who were in charge of other state museums. Felicori was one of these; however, three years after his appointment and 14 months before the natural end of his position, everything has changed.

 In an interview with the ‘Corriere del Mezzogiorno’ Felicori admitted that the law that forced him to retire is a little “bizarre”. At the same time, he noted that the Royal Palace “will end 2018 with a new record of visitors; we will reach the 900 million quota. Not only this; as the palace is again brought to national attention, we will receive increasingly interesting projects and proposals.” Felicori, the 66 year-old manager from Emilia-Romagna, has ended up appearing in many newspapers after being accused by mayors of “working too much”.

 Looking back on when he became manager, there is a new government and a new minister today that, judging from their initial actions, do not seem to want to completely maintain the system of ‘reform’. Felicori redesigned the geography of the cultural state in Italy and changed regulation on free entrance. The naming of Felicori’s successor, therefore, could follow a procedure different from that laid out by the ex-minister of the palace. For this reason, all options are open; decisions should be taken quickly in order to not leave management of the lavish Bourbon residence without a manager.

 Not only this; almost certainly the measures that the minister for cultural activities will take to substitute Felicori will have repercussions elsewhere, particularly within the gallery of the Uffizi.

 Manager Eike Schmidt in September 2018 also announced - amongst general shock – that at the end of his first four years of service in 2019 he would not ask to renew his position, seeing as in the meantime he has been named leader of the Kunsthistorisches Museum of in Vienna. Thus Schmidt will manage the famous Austrian museum from the first of January 2020.

 At this point it is difficult to imagine that the search for Felicori’s successor will not also effect the successor of the first German director of the Uffizi Gallery. Even if there are still 16 months left before the deadline to reemploy, whoever wants to manage the first Italian museum would do well to start showing interest.