Rome, November 13 - The reform that gave life to the reorganization of the Italian museum system is now "bearing fruit" in a "radical trend reversal", Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said during a meeting with the country's autonomous museum directors on Monday. State museum revenues increased by about 50 million euros between 2013-2016, up 38.4%. The trend is expected to continue in 2017, with a 9.4% increase in visitors and a 13.5% increase in revenue between January and September. Visitor numbers grew by 18.5% between 2013-2016 to reach 45.5 million in 2016, with a goal of 50 million visitors this year. Lazio confirmed its position as the region attracting the greatest number of visitors, with 20.3 million in 2016 translating into revenue of 67.6 million euros. This compared to 17.7 million visitors and 55.2 million euros revenue in 2013. This year the regions that have shown the biggest growth are Liguria (+22.7% visitors and +8.4% revenue in the first nine months of 2017 over the same period in 2016), Puglia (+18.3% visitors and +13.5% revenue), Veneto (+20% visitors and +73.7% revenue), Friuli-Venezia Giulia (+13.7 visitors and +19.2% revenue), Tuscany (+10.5% visitors and + 14.9% revenue) and Campania (+10.8% visitors and +13.9% revenue). Similarly, the first 20 autonomous museums established under the Franceschini reform saw their visitor numbers grow by 11% and their revenue increase by 14.5% in the first nine months of 2017 over the same period last year. The national gallery of modern art in Rome topped the league with an 84% increase in visitors and a 182% increase in revenue, followed by the Academy Galleries in Venice (+83.2% and +205.8%), Capodimonte Museum (+55% and +29.8%), Reggia di Caserta (+23.3% and +27%), Royal Museums of Turin (+20.5% and +13.3%) and the national archaeological museum in Naples (+19.9% and +73%). The traditional big attractions have also showed steady growth, with visitors to the Colosseum growing by 10.2% in the first nine months of 2017, to the Uffizi gallery by 14.6%, to the Academy gallery in Florence by 11.3% and to the Brera gallery by 12.7%, with a rise in revenue respectively of 9.3%, 15.1%, 11.8% and 16.6%. "The figures are pleasing," Franceschini said. "The 20 Italian and non-Italian autonomous museum directors have been working for just over two years. They have changed the face of their museums, connected the museums to the cities, not just to tourists. Scientific research and restoration have increased and the state has invested approximately one billion euros in interventions in museums," the minister continued. "In particular, visitor numbers have risen a lot, counter to what has happened in Europe," he said. "It is just the start of a journey, but it is also proof that investing in culture is good for people, minds and souls and also for the economies of our cities."
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