Integrated Regional Museum System

Multi-year project of cultural heritage management

Museum: Polo Museale del Molise  website
Years: 2018

Polo Museale del Molise

Molise’s intangible cultural heritage is rich in arts and traditions and its origins date back to many centuries ago. The Museum of Costumes (Isernia), the Bagpipe Museum (Scapoli), the  Museum of Wheat (Ielsi), the Museum of the Mysteries (Campobasso), the Museum of Arts and Traditions (Riccia), the Museum of Rural Artefacts (Lucito) and the Museum of  Bells (Agnone) are only some of the museums  which represent the cultural context of Molise and that reflect the deep connection still existing between local communities and their traditions. However, the intangible cultural heritage of the region is not always adequately  communicated and promoted. In order to better understand these traditions, Polo Museale del Molise periodically organizes activities like exhibitions, conferences and  events. These activities are always carried out in collaboration with the local communities, local authorities and associations that intend to keep alive their huge cultural heritage. Similarly, the Regional Secretariat of Molise, the office of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Cultural Activities in charge of promoting  both the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Molise and of coordinating local offices and local activities, has created a digital database which consists of thematic and interactive maps. Each map is dedicated to a specific aspect of the cultural heritage of Molise and one section is specifically dedicated to arts and traditions. Additionally, a comic book ‘Once Upon a Time… Molise’,  available in three different languages (Italian, English and Spanish) promotes, in a more entertaining and approachable way, the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Molise, its landscapes, its national and local museums, the artisanal techniques and local food. All of this is available on

At a national level, the Prime Ministerial Decree no. 171 of 29.08.2014, clause n. 34 establishes that the Poli Museali Regionali work on the creation of a museum system active in each Italian region and which include all of the cultural institutions both public and private, national and local. The system will assure that all of the services provided by each of them would be the same and would respect  the same standards of quality. With regard to the intangible cultural heritage, the Italian legislation, again in the Prime Ministerial Decree no. 171/2014 at clause n. 35, recalls that museums also perform researches on the intangible testimonies of humanity, acquiring them, conserving them and communicating them for the purpose of study, education and pleasure.

Integrated Regional Museum System

Description of the project / practice / program

Italian legislation establishes at clause n. 34 of the Prime Ministerial Decree n. 171 of 29.08.2014, that Poli Museali Regionali, each of them in the region of competence, address and monitor all the activities of management, enhancement, communication and promotion of the National Museum System in Italy, in order to create the Regional Museum System. This cultural policy strategy intends to guarantee quality access and fruition for users and to improve the protection of cultural heritage. In order to do this, all of the cultural institutions involved will have to respect  the levels of quality established by the central government, use the same methods for the conservation and enhancement of their cultural heritage and share the same codes of behavior and museum policy, while keeping at the same time their autonomy and independence. This way, Polo Museale del Molise will be able to promote local museums which exhibit collections related to intangible cultural heritage. The creation of the regional integrated system in Molise will allow museums and cultural places to connect with each other, to improve their accessibility and to create the basis for a sustainable management of cultural heritage. The intangible cultural heritage of Molise, through the local museums which represent it, will be promoted with adequate tools of communication and will be preserved, enhanced and widely spread among current and future generations, not only at a local and national level, but, hopefully, also internationally.

How were practitioners of intangible cultural heritage involved?

The local communities of Molise are extremely active and participate, through the work of the municipalities, museums and  associations in keeping  alive their traditions and their intangible cultural heritage. However, the demographic data available demonstrate how the emigration of new generations leaving Molise to go to different regions looking for better  job opportunities represent a  growing phenomenon. This  is a serious risk for the survival of cultural identity and historical memory of entire communities. To deal with this problem, Polo Museale del Molise, in close collaboration with the Regional Secretariat for Molise, in order to discuss problems and potential intervention strategies, has carried out a survey to collect data and schedule meetings with the representatives of local communities and with those institutions (especially local museums) which steal maintain important traditional rites and artisanal activities. Local museums are poorly promoted and visitors know very little about them. They don’t usually have a website or digital communication strategies, therefore preventing  both tourists and  young generations from getting to know them and putting at risk the memory and vitality of all the old traditions. However, reaching out to local communities has generated more enthusiasm and awareness of their traditions and intangible cultural heritage.

Photo: (c) Regional Secretariat of Molise

CV of the author

Federico Bonfanti

Federico Bonfanti was born in Legnago in 1980. In 2004, he graduated with a four-year degree in history in Padua, with an emphasis on archaeology. In 2009 he specialized in prehistoric and proto-historic archaeology. Since 2011 he has curated various archaeological and ethnographic exhibitions with the Department of Archaeological Heritage of the Veneto, and the University of Padua. He has been a collaborator of the Environmental Archaeological Centre of Legnago since 2004, and was appointed curator in 2009. In 2013 he obtained a Master’s degree in museology, museography and management of cultural heritage at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan. From 2018 onwards, he is an archaeologist at the Polo Museale del Molise.


  • Communities, local museums and associations present in the region, engaged in the promotion and protection of intangible cultural heritage, must be deeply involved in the implementation of national cultural policies and made aware of their key role, in order to guarantee the success of the project.
  • The public authority appointed of realize, at regional level, the political culture strategies defined at a central level, must make itself available to the local realities with effective help and the necessary tools to improve the quality levels of fruition of their cultural heritage.



16 June 2020 from 17:37 to 17:37



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