MILAN — (AP) — The British-Canadian director of Milan’s Brera Gallery was hired in 2015 after the Italian government launched reforms that for the first time brought in foreign museum directors. His eight-year tenure is ending as Premier Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing administration seeks to again reserve top cultural jobs for Italians.
Admirers have credited James Bradburne, a 67-year-old architect who has run five cultural institutions in five countries, with revolutionizing the museum that Napoleon intended to make “the Louvre of Italy” and fill with paintings from his Italian campaigns when he expanded his French empire.
Bradburne had each of the 38 rooms renovated without ever closing the museum, established in 1809. He worked to make it more user-friendly by revamping the labels beneath key works, inaugurating musical events to draw in local residents and no longer putting together exhibitions as a way to drive visitor numbers.
During his tenure, popular innovations for highlighting the …