Electa, a leader in art book publishing and museum services management, and Réunion des Musées Nationaux have drawn up an agreement for the creation of a 50-50 joint venture for the management of bookshop services at museums and archaeological sites owned by the Italian state.
Réunion des musées nationaux (RMN) – the biggest commercial operator in France and Europe in the culture sector, with revenues of over €100 million and over 1,000 employees, has a long-standing reputation for quality in the different areas in which it operates: publishing, sales, merchandising, exhibition organisation, picture agency and the valorisation of museum sites.
The French company is also the world’s biggest distributor of editorial products and gadgets, through the management of over 40 “librairies-boutiques”, including those at the Louvre and the other leading museums in Paris.
The newly-established company – Electa Rmn – aims to participate in all of the forthcoming bids for the management of bookshops in Italian state-owned museums and the creation of high-quality publishing and merchandising activities, which – thanks to the complementary experience and know-how of the two companies – makes it a qualified interlocutor for the valorisation of Italy’s historic artistic and museum assets.
“What is clear from the numbers is that there is a gap, in terms of best practice in museum services, between the offer in the Italian market and in other European countries,” explained Martin Angioni, managing director of Electa. “This is why, confident of the great potential for development offered by Italy’s outstanding historical and artistic heritage, Electa has decided to share with a partner, that we consider to be the best possible, the crucial transition for our sector,” continued Angioni.
“Access to a great store of knowledge and management skills and the opportunity of creating a system together with that of France, in general, and Paris in particular, gives a sense of the qualitative leap that our country can make in the so-called “additional services” sector, which is so strategic for our development. One figure is enough to illustrate the point. The Louvre, on its own, generates more bookshop revenues than all our museum bookshops put together,” concluded Angioni.
“Electa’s detailed knowledge of the Italian market, allied with Rmn’s experience as the world leader in museum bookshops, will enable Electa Rmn to make an attractive proposal for the valorisation of the extraordinary assets of Italy’s museums and archaeological sites,” claimed Thomas Grenon, managing director of Rmn.
Completion of the operation is subject to the necessary authorisation of the relevant authorities.
For more than 60 years Electa has played a dynamic role in the documentation and study of different areas of the visual arts. The company’s innovative editorial models, the quality of research, the unmistakable image and the great care taken in the preparation of reproductions are part of the history of illustrated publishing.
A success that has also led to an extensive network of co-editions with the world’s leading publishers in the sector and in the direct sales sector abroad, especially in the English-language markets.
Electa is currently the leader in the art and architecture sectors. But over the years the activities of the publishing house have expanded and it is now Italy’s leading player in the organisation of exhibitions and the management of museum services.
Réunion des Musées Nationaux is the world’s biggest commercial operator in the culture sector. In addition to the most important museums in Paris (Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Grand Palais, Petit Palais, Musée Guimet, Musée du Quai Branly), it manages museum services and organises exhibitions across the whole of France (from Versailles to the Musée Cezanne in Aix-en-Provence).
Rmn is also part of the Louvre Abu Dhabi Project. In 2009 the company organised 28 exhibitions, including “Picasso et les Maîtres”, which, with 800,000 visitors and 94,000 catalogues’ sales, was one of the world’s biggest exhibitions of the year.