Minneapolis Institute of Art curator to direct famed Italian museum

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Eike Schmidt // Photo courtesy of Mia

The New York Times is reporting that German-born Eike Schmidt, the current James Ford Bell Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, was named the new director of Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, yesterday after the Italian government opened 20 top museum positions to international competition.

Uffizi Gallery is one of the world’s top and oldest museums and is home to some of the most famous paintings, including Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and Giotto’s “The Ognissanti Madonna,” among many others.

According to the Times:

The international competition was devised to shake up Italy’s museum system, seen as fusty and out of step with the challenges of modern mass tourism. The new directors will have more influence over budgets, fund-raising and management, in the spirit of a reform giving museums more autonomy from the Culture Ministry, which currently oversees state cultural institutions.

Read more about the appointments on the Arts Beat blog at nytimes.com.

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