Is a fast food chieftain the right guy to look after Italy’s 3,600 or so government-run museums and archaeological sites? The question is moving from the abstract to the concrete, reports the Economist. Mario Resca, the former head of McDonald’s in Italy, is stepping in as the country’s heritage manager, and receiving a mixed chorus of cheers and jeers in the process: “Italy’s best-known art critic, Vittorio Sgarbi, has called the choice of Mr. Resca ‘very positive.’ But the advisory National Heritage Council has deplored the reorganization that created his post. ‘Running a big factory and Italy’s museums are not the same thing,’ sniffed the council’s president, Salvatore Settis.”
The same thing that critical customers hate about fast food—the emphasis on valorizzazione (value adding) over soul and flavor—may be precisely what makes Resca an efficient and positively transformative administrator. That, or a bull in a china shop.