Emilio Cabasino

I mestieri dei beni culturali: dalle torri d'avorio alla prova del mercato

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This article offers a brief historical analysis of cultural heritage professions, which were the domain of a fairly narrow circle of people in Italy until 1975, when a full-fledged Ministry specifically dedicated to the sector was created and regional, provincial, and local entities started hiring personnel. The unrestricted admission to universities, since 1970, opened the doors to a far higher number of students than in the past, in fact exceeding the real staffing needs of public agencies. The article examines the new field of activity associated with the improvement of cultural heritage resources and services to be offered to visitors/customers. A slow process of administrative decentralisation is underway, and the relationship between public and private parties is evolving towards new forms of partnership, which can benefit from the use of specifically trained professionals. Finally, the article examines how universities are attempting to adapt their training programs to satisfy market demand, as well as how they should define procedures for certification of the degrees granted in cultural economics and cultural management. The point of this article is that cultural managers must have a solid grounding in humanistic studies and understand how to assert the values of culture in the market.

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