Stadiums amendment, tough letter to Franceschini from chairmen of three MiBACT committees

Harsh letter from the chairmen of 3 technical-scientific committees of MiBACT to Minister Dario Franceschini on the sbloccastadi amendment strongly desired by Matteo Renzi.

The presidents of three MiBACT technical-scientific committees(Daniela Esposito, chair of the Technical-Scientific Committee for Landscape, Tomaso Montanari, chair of the Technical-Scientific Committee for Fine Arts, and Claudio Varagnoli, chair of the Technical-Scientific Committee for Contemporary Art and Architecture), have sent a very harsh open letter to the minister of cultural heritage, Dario Franceschini: the object of the concerns is the so-called “sbloccastadi amendment,” approved in early September. As we wrote on these pages, the amendment to the simplification dl, strongly desired by Senator Matteo Renzi, provides that stadium upgrades can be sovlti in derogation of the building’s declarations of cultural interest.

There had been strong opposition to this measure from preservation circles, both because of what it establishes (stadiums of particular value could be radically altered) and because of the very nature of the measure, which goes beyond the rules of preservation. Therefore, according to Esposito, Montanari and Varagnoli it is a “premise for further and more serious vandalism.” Here is the full text of the letter below.

Dear Mr. Minister,

The approval of the amendment to the “Simplification Decree” that removes Italy’s historic stadiums from the protection guaranteed until now by the competent Superintendencies is a very serious wound to the constitutional obligation of the protection of the nation’s historic and artistic heritage, and is the premise for further and more serious vandalism.

It was intended to hand over a heritage of great historical and aesthetic significance to interests that are not even football-related in the strict sense, but speculative and commercial. These can find legitimate implementation elsewhere, in accordance with the development forecasts of our cities, but not at the expense of national architectural identity.

We are talking not only about the famous municipal stadium in Florence, which is a sort of flagship of 20th-century Italian architecture and a meeting point of constructive and typological experimentation, but about a whole production that saw our country at the forefront, before and after World War II. Also in danger now of having their historical and aesthetic values erased are the systems developed in the 1950s-1960s, which spread an innovative and creative use of reinforced concrete throughout the nation. Basically, the core of the architectural culture of the twentieth century is hit, with possible extensions to other types of buildings for sports or intended for productive functions: buildings that our country, in concert with European culture, is defending and returning to controlled and conscious use.

Such an amendment has aroused, we know, the opposition of most of the professors and specialists involved in the MiBACT bodies because it demotes the Italian culture of protection to a negative example for Europe and the whole world. Already the university world and our leading scientific communities-art historians, architects, urban planners, restorers-are spreading appeals against the amendment.

This bad law is capable of opening an irremediable breach in the already shaky edifice of protection, all the more dangerous when it comes to contemporary architecture.

We therefore express our strong disagreement with the measure as it has been passed, and we strongly urge you to do everything in your power to limit its damage and above all to bring it, at the first opportunity, before the Constitutional Court: certain that the blatant unconstitutionality of this destructive little summer law will not escape the scrutiny of the judge of laws.

Looking forward to your kind reply, we greet you warmly

Prof. ssa Daniela Esposito
President of the Technical and Scientific Committee for Landscape at MiBACT

Prof. Tomaso Montanari
President of the Technical and Scientific Committee for Fine Arts at MiBACT

Prof. Claudio Varagnoli
President of the Technical and Scientific Committee for Contemporary Art and Architecture at MiBACT

Image: the tower of the “Artemio Franchi” stadium in Florence. Ph. Credit Francesco Bini

Stadiums amendment, tough letter to Franceschini from chairmen of three MiBACT committees
Stadiums amendment, tough letter to Franceschini from chairmen of three MiBACT committees

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