Apr 27, 2018

An Italian museum director has to stand trial for “absenteeism” from the job due to daytime gym visits.

Government authorities in Rome hired agents to tail Anna Coliva, the director of the state-funded museum Galleria Borghese, after receiving an anonymous tip she was sometimes absent from her post. Authorities did discover that, on occasion, Coliva would clock in to work before going to the gym, The Art Newspaper reported. Her total time away the office was 41 hours over 12 days, investigators found. But an attorney for the embattled director argued Coliva has worked more than enough overtime to compensate for any hours spent outside the office. Indeed, the museum has thrived under her leadership: a recent show of Bernini sculpture brought in €2.5 million in ticket sales.
Still, a judge decided to take up a case against Coliva on the charges of absenteeism and recklessness with public funds, and she has been suspended without pay. The Art Newspaper came down hard on the side of the director—the outlet calls the case “the latest shocking tale of bureaucratic ineptitude in Italy”—and her colleagues chimed in on her behalf as well. Anna Lo Bianco, the former director of the Palazzo Barberini, insisted that the Galleria Borghese during Coliva’s term at the helm “has not been equalled by any other institution in Italy.”