ITALIA ARCHEOLOGICA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA: Polly Toynbee, “Welcome to the National Gallery, Dr Finaldi. Now look after your staff”, GUARDIAN U.K., | Gabriele Finaldi, un italiano, a dirigere dal prossimo agosto la National Gallery di Londra. Il Mess. (18|03|2015).
NOTA – sotto: Gabriele Finaldi, IL MESSAGGERO (18|03|2015).
1). Polly Toynbee, Welcome to the National Gallery, Dr Finaldi. Now look after your staff – The gallery’s new director should cancel plans to outsource the jobs of gallery assistants – there would be no better start to his tenure, THE GUARDIAN U.K., (18|03|2015).
Welcome to the new director of the National Gallery. Dr Gabriele Finaldi, from the Prado, knows it well from working there as a curator with Neil MacGregor until 2002. “I feel deeply honoured” he said. “I eagerly look forward to working with the trustees and the staff to strengthen the gallery’s bond with the public.”
But that bond risks fracturing, between trustees, staff, gallery and public. The gallery assistants return to the picket line from Tuesday to Sunday next week, closing most rooms. The gallery is outsourcing all its 400 staff in visitor services, including the gallery assistants, many of whom have worked there for years, becoming steeped in knowledge about the paintings they watch over. Once outsourced, the staff can by law be dispersed to anywhere by their new employer: people with long experience of guiding visitors can be sent to guard a supermarket car park. New staff taken on in the gallery can be paid less, with worse conditions: that’s how outsourcing works.
Finaldi will know many assistants and he should insist on stepping in now to stop this. Talks continue at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, but the current director refuses to consider the staff’s alternative plan. The dispute has been handled exceptionally badly: how does it help to suspend union rep Candy Udwin from her job in the middle of this?
The gallery’s grant is cut severely, so it needs to make money with paid evening events. Staff are willing – but naturally expect extra pay. No other major national museum has outsourced its entire visitor team, and the National is the only one not paying the living wage. A security company with no museum experience has been brought in to the guard the Sainsbury paid-for exhibition wing, kept open during strikes: CIS is a company that mainly provides heavies to guard empty buildings.
One trustee told me that CIS was brought in as a warning. The union says the trustees have never been allowed to hear the staff case, to meet their representatives or to see their alternative proposals. Meanwhile on strike days outside the gallery, the public offer strong support. Donations have flooded in to help keep the low-paid strikers going without pay. The tender to put out the services to the likes of CIS, Serco or G4S goes out two days before the general election.
The National Gallery as a great British emblem should resist becoming yet another icon for Britain’s low-pay, zero-hours contemptuous treatment of valuable employees. Disputes get deadlocked when management feels its pride and power to manage is threatened: winning becomes more important than finding a peaceful solution. Dr Finaldi may hope it’s all sorted out before he officially takes over in August – but he should step in now, with a fresh eye and goodwill from all sides. What better way to set out than by welcoming the assistants back into the fold of the gallery?
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— THE GUARDIAN U.K., (18|03|2015).
2). National Gallery in London picks Prado deputy chief as new director – Gabriele Finaldi, who presided over modernisation at the Madrid institution, takes over from Nicholas Penny in August, THE GUARDIAN U.K., (18|03|2015).
Gabriele Finaldi, the deputy director of the Prado museum in Madrid, has been appointed as the new director of the National Gallery.
Finaldi takes over from Nicholas Penny, who announced his retirement last summer, in August.
Born in London to Anglo-Italian parents and a British citizen, Finaldi is no stranger to the London institution and its workings – he was a curator between 1992 and 2002 responsible for the later Italian paintings and the Spanish collection.
Finaldi said: “I feel deeply honoured to take on the directorship of the National Gallery after Nicholas Penny. This is a world-class collection in a world-class city and I eagerly look forward to working with trustees and the staff to strengthen the gallery’s bond with the public and its international standing.
“I also look forward to developing an exciting exhibition programme and the gallery’s research and educational activities.”
The 49-year-old art historian narrowly missed out on the job when Penny was appointed in 2008.
This time, he has been the firm favourite and joins a gallery in mixed health with, on the positive side, a well-regarded exhibition programme – not least its current and hugely popular Inventing Impressionism show.
There are problems to tackle, however, including the industrial dispute with workers and members of the Public and Commercial Services union, who were on strike again last weekend over plans to privatise its visitor services.
The gallery hopes that the dispute will be settled by the time Penny leaves although there is no sign yet of a breakthrough. Five more days of strikes are planned between 24 and 28 March. The Guardian last week published a letter signed by union leaders as well as artist Bob and Roberta Smith and filmmaker Ken Loach calling on the gallery’s trustees to rethink its proposals to outsource two thirds of its workforce.
Finaldi has been instrumental in modernising the Prado during his tenure – which included the opening of the Prado extension in 2007 and the Prado Research Centre in 2008 – and may face similar challenges in London.
His appointment was confirmed by the prime minister, David Cameron. He was chosen from an international shortlist that included Axel Rüger, the German-born director of the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam; Dutchman Taco Dibbits, director of collections at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam; Emilie Gordenker, a Dutch-American in charge of the Mauritshuis in The Hague; and Luke Syson, a Briton, curator of European sculpture and decorative arts at the Met in New York.
Finaldi’s boss in Madrid, director of the Prado Miguel Zugaza, said: “Gabriele Finaldi has contributed decisively to the modernisation of the Museo del Prado in the last decade, most significantly in positioning the museum internationally and developing its conservation and research roles.
“At the Prado we hope that his presence in London will give a new impulse to the highly positive collaboration already established between our museum and the gallery under the leadership of our esteemed friend and colleague, Nicholas Penny.”
Finaldi studied art history in London at Dulwich College and the Courtauld Institute of Art, where his doctoral research focused on the 17th-century painter Jusepe de Ribera. He recently curated an exhibition on Murillo that went on display at the Prado, in Seville and at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, but is best remembered at the National Gallery for the 1997 show he curated, Discovering the Italian Baroque: The Denis Mahon Collection.
Finaldi will be joined by a new chair of trustees at the gallery with Hannah Rothschild taking over from Mark Getty, also in August.
Getty said he was delighted that Finaldi was joining. “In addition to his scholarship, particularly in Italian and Spanish painting, Dr Finaldi has been responsible for internationally acclaimed exhibitions and publications.
“As co-director of the Prado he has been responsible for a range of successful and complex projects and he will bring considerable experience to the gallery.”
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— THE GUARDIAN U.K., (18|03|2015).
3). La National Gallery di Londra affidata a un italiano: luce verde dal Governo, IL MESSAGGERO (18|03|2015).
Sarà Gabriele Finaldi, un italiano, a dirigere dal prossimo agosto la National Gallery di Londra. La decisione, presa dal consiglio di amministrazione dopo tre mesi di selezioni, ha avuto l’ok anche da parte di Downing street e diventerà pienamente operativa la prossima estate, con il termine del mandato di Nicolas Penny, direttore uscente.
Finaldi, nato a Londra ma di famiglia italiana, ha battuto gli altri quattro favoriti, tra cui uno dei curatori del Metropolitan di New York, inglese, e tre storici dell’arte olandesi. Nei passati 13 anni Finaldi è stato vice-direttore del Museo del Prado di Madrid: qui, nonostante la crisi e la riduzione dei contributi statali, un’attenta gestione – unita alla sua esperienza – hanno permesso al museo madrileno di passare attraverso una notevole trasformazione. Tra le novità più importanti dovute alla gestione Finaldi, l’apertura dell’ampliamento del Prado nel 2007, oltre alla ristrutturazione dell’impianto museale e all’inaugurazione di un centro ricerche, entrambe nel 2008. Vanno poi segnalate anche la completa riorganizzazione della collezione permanente e lo sviluppo di un ambizioso programma di mostre internazionali.
Il critico 49enne ha una formazione prettamente inglese: ha infatti studiato storia dell’arte al Courtauld Institute di Londra, dove il suo dottorato di ricerca si è focalizzato sulla pittura seicentesca di Jusepe de Ribera. Prima di essere nominato vice-direttore del Prado, Finaldi aveva già lavorato per 10 anni alla National Gallery: conosce quindi molto bene il museo di Trafalgar square. In questo periodo ha curato le opere del barocco italiano e la collezione spagnola. È stato promotore, inoltre, di diverse importanti mostre, tra cui “La natura morta in Spagna da Velazquez a Goya” (1995), “Orazio Gentileschi alla corte di Carlo I” (1999) e “Vedere il Salvatore: l’immagine di Cristo” (2000).
L’evento per cui Finaldi è maggiormente conosciuto a Londra, tuttavia, riguarda una mostra intitolata “Alla scoperta del barocco italiano”, incentrata soprattutto sui pezzi del collezionista Denis Mahon. Quelle opere sono poi state donate alla National Gallery in uno dei più grandi lasciti degli ultimi tempi. Ora, da direttore, Finaldi si occuperà ancora una volta di questa collezione, magari allestendo nuove mostre.
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— IL MESSAGGERO (18|03|2015).
FOTO | FONTE | SOURCE:
National Gallery employee: why I’m on strike over privatisation – The gallery and the service we provide are too important to be thrown into the gutter by a penny-pinching government and a mean-spirited employer, THE GUARDIAN U.K., (04|02|2015).
— Polly Toynbee, Inside the National Gallery, a portrait of modern inequality – The museum’s move to privatise its staff illustrates how wages have been squeezed across the country, THE GUARDIAN U.K., (20|01|2015).
The National Gallery’s colonnaded splendour radiates across Trafalgar Square a sense of the importance of art in Britain’s national life. But the reality inside is far less glorious. The 400 gallery assistants are about to be outsourced to a private company against their will, to squeeze pay and conditions. A ballot by their union, PCS, closes this week, calling for a five-day strike in protest.
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— THE GUARDIAN U.K., (20|01|2015).