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Italian court nixes foreign directors named for 5 museums

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/25/2017

ROME (AP) — An Italian administrative court has nixed the selection of five museum directors, siding with critics of a much-vaunted reform which allowed experts based abroad to compete for top posts.

Culture Minister Dario Franceschini on Thursday slammed the ruling by the Lazio region's administrative tribunal as an embarrassment to Italy. His ministry immediately launched an appeal to the Council of State, the highest administrative tribunal.

Italian media reported that in overturning the appointments, the court cited the use of Skype to interview some candidates and other flaws.

Among those surviving the challenge was the Uffizi Galleries' German director, Eike Schmidt. The Italian news agency ANSA quoted Schmidt as calling the ruling "absurd" and going against EU directives.

Since their 2015 appointment, the museum directors have largely been credited with boosting attendance.

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