Editoriale

Reality calls to a new interpretation of culture

di Stefano Monti

Reality calls to a new interpretation of culture

In Italy, one of the most widespread interpretations of the cultural role in our lives and societies, affecting also the interpretation of cultural heritage and production, tends to create a visible division between the role of public bodies and private entities. Indeed, this kind of interpretation, still relevant in various contexts, today appears quite anachronistic, weakly reflecting the real state of the art. Largely diffused in the second half of the 20th century, this kind of interpretation claims for a strong differentiation between an ascetic-like approach to cultural heritage, mostly led by public entities in the name of the “public good” nature of culture, and the opportunistic, marginalist, profit-based private approach, in which private entities are represented as a sort of commodification agents, whose interest in culture is only led by profits and egoistic interests. Despite the public debate draws this kind of interpretation with more euphemistic words, undoubtedly this kind of approach still remains in the background of the cultural debates: on one hand, there are plenty of laws and rules focused on limiting the role of private agents in cultural fields; on the other hand, there are even more examples of public interventions calling private agents to an only fundraising role within the cultural context. In response to this kind of approach, together with the non-always-brilliant results in terms of cultural heritage management that are visible in our country when we go far from the Superstars (Colosseum, and so on), it is growing a more and more widespread public dissatisfaction, mostly in younger generations of professionals which would like to work within the cultural heritage sector. Paradoxically, this kind of tiredness could help growing another extreme approach to Cultural Heritage, in response to the conservative attitude that, in fact, governs our cultural heritage management.

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Gestire cultura

Museum’s self-financing capacity: axes of development to increase Italy’s 1.737 billion euros worth cultural heritage self-generated income.

di Federica Brunetti

In Italy, performance measures linked to museums’ self-financing capacity have been systematically disregarded, as cultural heritage has been traditionally considered as a sector incapable of being a State’s profit generating asset. This article aims at outlining innovative revenue streams that museums could develop in order to increase their self-generated income. France’s public cultural institutions’ management is analyzed and considered as an example proving it is possible to have the cultural heritage sector financing its own growth.

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Reti creative

When a company makes itself a book. A glance to the phenomenon of corporate books and monographs in Italy

di Valentina Martino

The paper investigates the phenomenon of company books, published by enterprises and other kind of organisations to narrate their corporate history and activities. Such publications, conceived according to several possible disciplinary standpoints, narrative approaches and expressive languages, represent a very singular literary and communicative tradition in the Italian context. A preliminary analysis aims at framing in brief the historical origins of the sector, its characteristics, development, and contemporary exploit. In such a review, a special attention is devoted to corporate monographs – company “history” or “anniversary” books – representing the primary and most refined genre within company literature. Then, an overview is proposed about specialist libraries and documentary centres dedicated to corporate books in Italy, with a special focus on the “BiblHuB” project, promoted since 2018 by the Sapienza University of Rome.

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