This book reviews four decades of debate about restoring an industrial heritage site of inestimable value – the Venice Arsenal. Focusing on the challenges of economic, financial and institutional feasibility, it reveals how failing to address these aspects has undermined potential solutions from both technicians and heritage professionals.
With a deep connection to the city over centuries, the Arsenal was the very basis of La Serenissima’s sea power, enabling its economic expansion. Later, it maintained a vital military function through shipbuilding until World War II. But the slow process of abandonment of the traditional site’s uses and spaces continues to pose questions regarding its preservation and re-use. Drawing on original research from urban planners, architects and historians, the book provides a critical investigation into the organizational and managerial challenges of this unique site, and crucially, why so little has been achieved compared with potential opportunities.
Featuring numerous color photographs and exploring the particular challenges of restoration and re-use facing the Venice Arsenal, this insightful evaluation of the history of this site provides a uniquely informative case for the discipline of industrial heritage.
Table of Contents
Part I – A reminder: on the importance of the Arsenal in the history of administration
1. History of management and stratigraphy of organizing
2. From manufacturing to industry: the turn in the late 19th century
Part II – The state of the art: protection, preservation and re-use
3. The recovery of the Arsenal: the process from 1980 until today
4. The role of the Agenzia del Demanio (State Property Agency) in enhancing the Arsenal
5. The Società Arsenale di Venezia (SAV): from state control to municipal control
6. Some comments from a management studies perspective
Part III – A controversial issue: museum and open access
7. Towards a museum of the Arsenal: home of Venetian civilization, history and shipbuilding
8. The Arsenal Museum: issues of spaces availability and accessibility
9. The National Museum of Naval History: a reconstruction of the project
10. Scenarios for the Arsenal Museum: back to management
Part IV – A research agenda: international perspectives on the Arsenal as tangible and intangible heritage
11. The Arsenal as intangible heritage: between historical meanings and re-uses
12. The Venice Arsenal, singular but not unique: towards a survey of Historic Naval Shipyards in Europe
13. The heritization of Historic Naval Shipyards in Europe
Paolo Ferri, Pegram Harrison, Luca Zan
Conclusions: a policy agenda to not forget
Luca Zan is Professor of Arts Management at the University of Bologna, Italy, and Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing; he has been adjunct faculty at Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University for several years.