Italy museum visitors rise in 2016

Numbers boosted by both foreigners and Italians

(ANSA) - Milan, July 5 - Visitor numbers to Italian state museums in the first four months of 2016 increased by about one million compared to the same period in the previous year, leading to a 16% rise in takings, Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said.
    Speaking at a meeting of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), Franceschini said the Italian government's support of culture was "even more important in this difficult period that the world is experiencing" and that culture could be an antidote to terrorism and violence.
    Franceschini said the rise followed a similar positive trend in previous years, with visitor numbers up by 5 million in 2015. Numbers were being boosted by foreign tourists but also Italians discovering the treasures of their country's heritage.
    Milan mayor Giuseppe Sala told the conference that one of his cultural priorities was the refurbishment project for the Brera art gallery.
    Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk said in a video message to the conference that he hoped modern museums would develop a more intimate side, and become less institutional.
    "The aim of museums of today and of the future shouldn't be to represent the state but to recreate the world of human individuals, those individuals who suffered under tyrannical oppression for hundreds of years," he said.