Fiammetta Rocco

Museum Madness

Monday 24 November 2014, 6.30 - 8 pm

New Theatre, East Building, The London School of Economics and Political Science

Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE


Click HERE to listen to a podcast of the lecture.


Art & Culture's off-site education programme is generously supported by the Singer-Zahariev Family





















The world has twice as many museums as it had 20 years ago. Around the globe, new museums are springing up as never before and the building trend shows every sign of accelerating. In the industrialised world museums are being championed by a wide variety of people: by city fathers who see iconic buildings and great collections as a tourist draw, by urban planners who hope museums will act as a magic wand to bring blighted areas back to life, by the media who like to hype blockbuster exhibitions, and by rich people who want to put their wealth in the service of philanthropy. In the more affluent parts of the developing world museums are seen as symbols of confidence, as sources of public education and places where a young country can present a national narrative. Can a single cultural institution bear so many expectations?


Fiammetta Rocco has been the books and arts editor of The Economist since 2003. She was born in Kenya of French-Italian parents and read Arabic at Oxford. Her journalism has won awards on both sides of the Atlantic and she has been named British Feature Writer of the Year. Her book about malaria and the discovery of quinine, The Miraculous Fever Tree, is out with HarperCollins. In December 2013, The Economist published ‘Temples of Delight,’ her 10-page special report on the future of museums.