Project date
2022 - 2023

A project designed to identify development areas and strategic prospects for the Musei Civici di Bologna

The Project

The Istituzione Bologna Musei was dissolved in 2022, ten years after its foundation. The network’s resources were channelled into the municipal structure, leading to the establishment of the Comune di Bologna’s Settore Musei Civici [civic museums sector]. It is formed of twelve museums grouped into six thematic areas: Archeological Area, Ancient Art Area, History and Memory Area, Modern and Contemporary Area, Music Area, Industrial Heritage Area.

During this transition phase, BAM! was asked to conduct an organisational analysis that could be used to identify strategic investment areas and revival ideas for the structure in order to develop the museum network and improve its positioning.


Such a complex and important museum network needs to acquire new resources and develop new functions suitable for meeting today’s challenges and visitor requirements. The study, research and strategic overview of the organisational structure enable decision makers to identify the best conditions for achieving economies of scale, sharing resources and projects between museums, seizing development opportunities and ensuring more stable cost-effectiveness at departmental level.


On the basis of the needs observed, the project was divided into three macro-phases:

  • an initial organisation and economic/financial internal analysis phase
  • a second benchmarking and Italian context analysis phase
  • a third phase for drafting the strategic investment plan

During the first phase, internal research was conducted to understand the current status of Bologna’s civic museum network during the transition from institution to sector. Along with the interviews, which were necessary to understand staff views, shortcomings, needs and opportunities, the institution’s internal documents (budgets, strategic documents and reports) were also analysed. This made it possible to paint a picture and reconstruct the history of the network over recent years.

On the basis of the previous internal research, a number of critical areas for analysis and discussion were identified during the second phase. Certain civic museum systems in the Italian context were subsequently identified, whether managed directly by the municipality or administered through foundations. Some desk research was then carried out, along with interviews with administrative figures in the chosen networks.

Thanks to these two analyses and the policy feedback, BAM! was able to draw up a network investment and revival plan to support the Comune di Bologna in achieving its cultural objectives.



Photo credits:
Main image: Palickap, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Header: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

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