In the good old days, museums were depositories of art that were open to the general public and to scholars and most visitors were people who were interested in the exhibited works. This is no longer the case. At some point someone came up with the ridiculous idea of herding masses to museums. They have become part of the tour itineraries of mass tourism, just like souvenir shops. Museums are full of groups each following its own coloured rag waiving guide. The guides talk, the people don't listen: Only a small fraction of the tour participants actually listen to their guides: Some chat to each other, others are on their mobile phones or send text messages. The rest just dream away.
This really cannot go on. Dear museum director:
1. Sort out the acoustics. The extremely high noise level, which is due to the acoustics of the museum buildings, to the tendency of Italians to talk loudly, to your allowing so many groups to come into the museums and to a total mismanaged museum-guards workforce, prevents anyone from concentrating on the exhibited works of art.
2. Totally forbid any group of more than five to have guidance without using wireless speaker and earpiece systems.
3. Limit the number of groups you allow at any time.
4. Tighten up your guards: they should wear uniforms and look smart. Take away their mobile phones and their sudoku magazines. At work – they should actually work. Currently, your guards’ only interaction with visitors is to shout “no photo” when they notice a camera flash. Instead, they should be available for information requests and ensure that the rooms be quiet to enable visitors to concentrate on the art.
5. Get professional lighting experts. Many of your lighting systems are just bad! As a result, objects can often not be appreciated.
6. Glass panels – replace the reflective glass panels in front of many of the paintings with non-reflective glass. Currently, one sees oneself and others reflected in the painting one is looking at.
Above all, forget this notion that museums should be judged by the numbers of visitors.