Culture, proposals from aldermen of Italy's largest cities for a shared restart

After a year of discussion, culture aldermen from Italy's largest cities presented concrete proposals for a shared restart.

Culture aldermen from Italy’s twelve largest cities (Ancona, Bari, Bologna, Cagliari, Florence, Genoa, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Turin and Venice), after a year of discussion on pandemic-related issues, presented concrete proposals for a shared restart of the entire sector. Also present was the mayor of Mantua and Anci culture delegate Mattia Palazzi.

The proposals presented concern the guarantee of the opening of cultural venues with a single protocol, museums that can also be visited on weekends, an ad hoc table for comparison, and a special fund for cities of art.

Regarding the guarantee of the opening of places of culture with a single protocol, this would avoid the reversibility of openings, unless particularly serious situations arise, guarantee the continuity of the cultural presidium in the territory, ensure jobs and trust, give substance to the inalienable right to culture, and provide citizens with controlled and safe alternatives, instead of forcing them to a compressed sociality in a few, and poorly controlled, public or private places. The experience of cities, the seriousness with which theaters, museums, and cultural venues have shown that they are able to manage their opening periods, the elasticity of service, and the willingness to adapt to the constraints that are necessary from time to time, make this goal realistically possible.

Regarding the guarantee of the opening of museum institutions and places of culture on weekends as well, in compliance with every stipulated rule, this is a necessary action for the sustainability of cultural work, to ensure continuity in the preservation of heritage, to allow access to places of culture for all workers in the country, and thus full respect for the right to culture.

Finally, regarding the establishment of a permanent Local Authorities Table, this would open a constant dialogue with the Ministry and guarantee the concertation of cultural policies, necessary for the country’s rebirth, between the central government and the cities, which would make themselves available in a spirit of service as interlocutors for the construction of shared policies and as spokespersons for the instances arising from the territories.

The aldermen also called for the creation of a special fund earmarked for the cultural restart of cities.

Museums, theaters, performance venues, exhibition venues, places of art and culture: the cities intend to make available to the government their extensive knowledge of the cultural world and its problems, laying the foundations and establishing together the protocols for the most certain, rapid and homogeneous recovery possible throughout the country.

“For twelve months we have been working side by side, despite different political colors, for the good of culture and the country,” stressed Florence’s Culture Councillor Tommaso Sacchi, "aware of the enormous difficulties of the cultural sector: we are talking about 580,000 workers in Italy, with different roles and contractual arrangements, touched this year by a dramatic crisis and with few protections. We are happy that President Mario Draghi has spoken about issues that are very relevant to our path: he mentioned the places of culture and entertainment, museums, cinemas, theaters, and he said that culture represents an asset to be protected and unavoidable. We are available for collaboration that starts from the territories and our cities."

They all agreed that the new reconstruction of the country must start from culture and that Italy’s cultural power lies in its cities. It is also necessary to restart culture with protocols, reopen the country’s cultural activities and open a permanent table with the Ministry.

“These proposals come from the experience of local government and the continuous and constant commitment to the protection of production, programming and cultural work,” the aldermen said. “With the practical sense that distinguishes the world of cities, one year after the beginning of our collaboration, we want to align ourselves with what Prime Minister Mario Draghi argued in his reply to the Senate, namely ’The risk is to lose a heritage that defines our identity [...] Much has been done, more needs to be done.’”


Culture, proposals from aldermen of Italy's largest cities for a shared restart
Culture, proposals from aldermen of Italy's largest cities for a shared restart

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