Our colleague and friend Graziano Campanini, Director of the Museum of Health in Bologna, passed away on August 20th. His funeral was held in Pieve di Cento (Bologna), the little town to which he has dedicated so many energies in the cultural field.
His loss happened just two weeks before the opening of the new Municipal Picture Gallery which was his creation. Graziano was with EMA since its inception and helped with enthusiasm on several occasions: books’ publication, seminars, events. All EMA’s Italian events have been organized thanks to him, including the first edition of the Children in Museums Award at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair as well as the first edition of the EMA Museum Prize, again in Bologna, many years ago. He was a prolific author of essays about art as well as short stories frequently inspired by the art-world. Originally a psychologist, he promoted pioneering programmes to use art and museums as a form of therapy for mental problems. In his museum patients frequently interacted with the public as a part of reintegration projects. Graziano was also instrumental in the publication of the first EMA books including “Proceedings of the Kenneth Hudson Seminars 2009-2010” ed.European Museum Academy, 2011. and “Banks and Museums, beyond sponsorship” 2011.
For many years, when the annual Workshop which was organized by the European Museum Forum and then by the European Museum Academy, he made those events possible working behind the scene to find out the necessary resources, hundreds of colleagues from all over Europe had the occasion to meet him on those occasions and to appreciate his professional and human talents.
When the 2012 Italian earthquake occurred, which also struck Pieve, Graziano supported the Municipality in the post-earthquake reconstruction process. “Graziano, tireless and passionate lover of art and his land, who spent himself to the end to leave us all and the future generations a more beautiful and richer Pieve and to build bridges with Europe” stated Pieve’s Mayor.
The founding group of EMA had the privilege and the pleasure to meet Graziano for the first time in 1990 when he was awarded a Personal Citation “in public recognition of his outstanding achievement in stimulating public awareness of the need for conservation of the local heritage”. This recognition was given in the context of the 1990 edition of the European Museum of the Year Award scheme, which also benefited for twenty years of Graziano’s active participation.