Italy facing drastic cuts in culture funding...again

Blog : Blog
Auteur : Sofia Nicolas Melero - Date : 06 Nov 2008, 14:26
<i>This message was posted by a labor union outside state cultural sites after cuts were announced in June; from The NYTimes.</i>
<i>This message was posted by a labor union outside state cultural sites after cuts were announced in June; from The NYTimes.</i>

The return of Berlusconi and its conservative government is not making it easier for the arts –neither. Last summer it was announced that only 0.28% of the GPD budget had been allocated to the Ministry of Culture, a cut of more than $1.3 billion for the next three years. This situation is reminiscent of what Italy lived in 2005, where “a third of Italy's cultural sites were deemed to be in a state of emergency”- as the BBC reported. The cuts are currently affecting hundreds of museums, libraries, filmmakers, opera, theaters and archaeological sites that depend on State money.

The New York Times reported on these drastic cuts in an excellent article published last September: ”Wanted: A Healthy Cash Infusion for Italy’s Starved Cultural Institutions” .
This suggestive heading leave us on no doubt about how desperate the situation has turned for many recognized museums and art institutions in Italy: “We barely have enough money to keep the lights on, or pay for a cleaning staff,” said Vito Lattanzi, director of educational services and of the Mediterranean collections at the museum and research institute Pigorini. The custodial staff has been pared down to 11 from 30. Ten years ago there were eight to a shift; now there are four, and in most cases two are volunteers.”

Support by the private sector is not really an option given that major investments are sponsoring of sports –mainly football- and companies contend there is a lack of incentives in tax breaks.
However, it seems there are further plans; as the Swedish daily paper Svenska Dagbladet pointed out “Berlusconi sells the Italian cultural patrimony”, another interesting reference that mentions the risk that Pompei becomes property of a multinational company like Google, Microsoft or Warner Bros.

Given this panorama for the cultural heritage, it would be interesting to know what this conservative government's plans for the Italian contemporary art are. I can't help thinking of the singular;amp;feed=artanddesign" target="_self">comments that the culture minister publicly made on his “particular” eye for modern art.

All in all, I wonder what acrobatics are the independent, media, new media, electronic and all the experimental artists are doing to keep the scene - as well as themselves - alive in Italy… Courage, determination, love for the art, love for the art, love for the art…please, keep creative!

Note: the link provided to the New York Times article goes through a register page using certain browsers. You can access the article directly with Firefox.

Taggé comme:
cuts, funding, italy



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