Informations and abstract
From the opening of Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in 1977, in many European cities new cultural spaces or centres are built that became marks and factors of identity and urban and social development. Italy has few examples, dating from the 1990s, of a museum, an auditorium or a theatre becoming places of meeting, amusement, consumption, information or learning, and developing totally new features and functions. This paper recalls the problems related to the realization and management of cultural centres, the myth of profitability and of privatistic management, the governance models took by private owners or public administrations, and traces a first appreciation of the experiences made in the last twenty years in Italy in terms of organizational, managerial, economic and financial best practices. The need of a strict relation between the cultural supply and the area of cultural demand is crucial in transforming a physical place in an identity factor of a peculiar society or city; a full independence and responsibility of the management is an essential condition to avoid the organizational failure so common in the public cultural institutions experience, meanwhile self-financing is a structural condition to gain and hold the cultural autonomy on which the credibility of the centre is found.