Luca Zan

Apr 16, 2023

The Venice Arsenal

Between History, Heritage, and Re-use

Routledge Research in the Creative and Cultural Industries 2022

The Venice Arsenal: Between History, Heritage, and Re-Use (Routledge, 2022) 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.

Luca Zan, a faculty member at the University of Bologna, teaches and researches in Arts management from different perspectives in Italy, the United States (Carnegie Mellon University, and China (China Academy of Fine Arts). His research has international comparative perspective with fieldwork in China, Turkey, Peru, Ecuador, and Europe. His contributions also include management and accounting in historical perspectives, particularly on the history of the Venice Arsenal.

He has been the author or coauthor of Managerial Rhetoric and Arts Organizations, 2006; The Management of Cultural Heritage in China, 2008; Managing Cultural Heritage, 2016; Heritage Sites in Contemporary China, 2018; The Venice Arsenal. Between History Heritage and Re-use, 2022.

Along side academic activities Zan is actively involved in the management of arts/heritage organizations. 

Bernardo Batiz-Lazo is currently straddling between Newcastle and Mexico City. You can find him on twitter on issues related to business history of banking, fintech, payments and other musings. Not always in that order. @BatizLazo

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Bernardo Batiz-Lazo

Bernardo Batiz-Lazo is currently straddling between Newcastle and Mexico City. You can find him on twitter on issues related to business history of banking, fintech, payments and other musings. Not always in that order. @BatizLazo

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