|According to the law on cultural goods and the landscape (Article 111), promotion and enhancement of cultural goods is achieved through the “creation and stable organization of resources, structures, or networks, i.e., in the availability of technical skills or financial or instrumental resources designed for the exercise of the functions and the accomplishment of the goals” indicated in Article 6 of the same law. Such activities are open to the competition, cooperation, and participation of private entities.
On the one hand, this approach conforms to the principles and strategies of integrated territorial promotion of cultural patrimony, and on the other hand it reflects the central role of the citizen body in the general activity of the State.
Over the course of the past few decades these principles have been affirmed as a consequence of the international deliberations and debates which have assigned to cultural patrimony an increasingly important role among the models of development based on local conditions and on the development of the indigenous territorial resources. Cultural identities in particular have acquired new values and specificities thanks also to their non-material implications – i.e., traditions, knowledge, and crafts – which have enriched the concept of patrimony.
In effect, it is by now recognized that the conservation and development of cultural patrimony, if supported by “systemic” strategies and therefore directed not only at cultural goods but also at all of the other resources which characterize and and represent the distinctive traces accumulated in a given territory during its history, can perform an important function in both the preservation of the goods and the promotion and support of economic development in the local communities.
The involvement of the local communities, achieved also via networking of the primary interest-holders in the territory, in fact augments the general sensitivity towards cultural patrimony, understood as the citizens’ capacity to recognize their identity in that patrimony and recognize it as their own, and consequently cooperate in its conservation.
An integrated package of resources can, moreover, generate direct economic impacts via the outsourcing of services and activities associated with management, as well as indirect impacts. The latter derive not only from the well-known effects on the tourist industry, but also from the fact that the system developed around the patrimony increases a territory’s competitive level, allowing it to attract more human and financial resources than other territories, increasing its tourist traffic, just as it increases the establishment of economically useful activities not necessarily linked to the cultural sector.
As far as the museums alone are concerned, the policy act on technical-scientifc criteria and standards of performance (adopted in Italy in 2001) sought to emphasize the peculiar nature of the Italian museum system by introducing a specific sector on the relationship between the museum and the territory, taking advantage of the uniquely Italian situation which never views a museum as divorced from its specific territorial context.
In fact, each museum reflects the local creativity, interfaces with the institutions or personalities who commissioned the works and the places for which those works were created, and reviews the cultural climates, schools, traditions, and landscapes that tell the history and life of those places.
Museums in Italy by nature interpret their territories and extend into their territories, monuments, churches, palaces, and academies.
This close relationship is not mirrored by law – or, at least in very few cases – in an equally close relationship between cultural locations and the territorial context of reference.
Concerning integrated territorial promotion specifically, although local museum systems have existed for some time, only in recent years have some Ministerial institutions signed onto common projects involving other institutions; these institutions are nevertheless very well differentiated at the national level, based on the capabilities and impulse provided by the local entities.
Because of its institutional jurisdiction, the General Directorate of Management and Promotion of Cultural Heritage – within the confines of Department I – is working, on the one hand, to promote activities of integrated development and, on the other hand, to improve the methods with which cultural locations are managed.
The General Directorate has furthermore launched an important campaign of research on tourist load capacity, a subject which has for years been debated and addressed at the international level but which has not brought about concrete results and a precise identification of the possible indicators to adopt for the monitoring and correct and sustainable management of tourist traffic, at least as far as the vast and diversified cultural sector.
Integrated promotion requires the activation of management policies that extend enjoyment of culture to less well-known and –visited places.
The methods of integration not only create the conditions for a better understanding of our territories; they are also more highly sustainable from the perspective of tourism since, through the dislocation and distribution of visitor traffic over increasingly large areas, on the one hand the pressure on the sites that are normally most frequently visited is reduced, and on the other hand “lesser” locations are promoted, giving them greater economic sustainability.
|Strengthening the systems for integrated territorial cultural heritage promotion|
Improving the methods for managing cultural locations
This objective will be reached via activities aimed at identifying the most sustainable forms of integrated promotion, as well as forms that will define the legal instruments most suitable for territorial governance, including those dedicated to the management of individual cultural locations.
Promoting integrated cultural heritage developoment activities
To reach this objective activities have been undertaken aimed at supporting and encouraging the territorial networks and the number of state and non-state institutions participating in forms of territorial integration, as well as via experimental activities on high-quality cultural basins and systems.