Colosseum becomes part of archaeological park

New director to be appointed via international selection

(By Michelle Ruelle).
    (ANSA) - Rome, January 10 - The Colosseum is set to become part of an archaeological park that will also include the Domus Aurea, Palatine Hill and Forum sites, Culture Minister Dario Franceschini announced on Tuesday. The park will have a new director appointed via an international selection process, as has already happened for 30 other top cultural sites that were made autonomous through a reform, including Florence's Uffizi museum. Franceschini said he is preparing to sign a ministerial decree that reorganizes management of the Colosseum area to complete a reform launched in 2014.
    He said the country's transition to autonomously managed museum complexes has "unquestionably" led to improvements, including increased visitors and better services.
    "It's a slow process, which will move forward in the country at different speeds, but one that's bringing results," Franceschini said.
    With this new decree, the Special Superintendency will no longer manage the Colosseum, Forum/Palatine and Domus Aurea sites, but will instead take on responsibilities across the entire Rome area that the Ordinary Superintendency, which will be abolished, currently manages.
    The Special Superintendency will remain autonomous in both accounting and management, and will receive 30% of the revenue from ticket sales to the new Colosseum archeological park - about 11 million euros per year - for the maintenance of other archaeological areas.
    Those funds will be in addition to other state funding, which Franceschini said over the past three years has been about 150 million euros annually.
    Another 20% of ticket sale revenue from the new park will go to the Culture Ministry's solidarity fund, which supports Italian state museums.
    Franceschini said the process of forming the new Colosseum archaeological park would move forward rapidly, with the decree signing to take place within 48 hours before heading to the Audit Court and then publication in the country's official gazette.
    "Then the selection process will start for the director," he said, adding that an interim director would manage current personnel in the meantime.
   

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