Tour guides tough on museums open on weekdays and in yellow zone: "a mockery"

Harsh stance of AGTA - Association of Licensed Tourist Guides on the dpcm reopening museums only in the yellow zone and only on weekdays: according to the association, this is a diabolical mockery.

Very harsh stance by AGTA - Associazione Guide Turistiche Abilitate (Association of Licensed Tourist Guides ) on the reopening of museums in the yellow zone and only on weekdays, which speaks very openly of a “mockery” and a rule designed probably with the aim of getting across the idea that opening museums is too expensive, thus making it easier for them to be hypothetically closed in the future. This is what is stated in a note signed by AGTA President Isabella Ruggiero.

“We have not intervened in recent months on the issue of the all-out closure of cultural sites, even though it was a measure that we did not approve of and that turned out to be extremely painful and harmful for all of us who carry out our profession in such places,” Ruggiero says. “We had abstained, aware of the very serious problems the country is in and respectful of the categories working on the front lines to save lives. We appreciate the fact that Minister Franceschini supported the reopening of museums, but what the government ultimately came up with seems to us to be sincerely a mockery.”

Why this position? “The DPCM,” says Ruggiero, “actually prohibits the opening on Saturdays and Sundays, which are the only days when there is a greater possibility of visits. During weekdays the museums used to be frequented by tourists, schoolchildren, and retirees: tourists are not there, school trips are banned, and older people try not to go out to avoid contagion. Given that travel between regions is banned, domestic tourism is also blocked; therefore, only residents and at most residents of surrounding municipalities can visit museums. Too bad that the residents are those who normally from Monday to Friday work and have no time to visit the monuments. What is the point of banning opening on weekends? Is there a fear of crowds of tourists like there used to be? Museums and monuments are ticketed sites in which it is very easy to quota numbers: each management decides whether to let in only 1 or 10 people per hall. Already during last summer, in fact, they turned out to be the safest places in Italy, based on the very strict rules imposed by the directorates that made museums almost deserted places, while people flocked to buses, to nightlife spots or beaches, or even to shopping malls. So if the reason for closing on weekends was fear of crowds, it would be a completely illogical and unfounded fear.”

“We know,” Ruggiero continues, “that the most critical element in our cities is transportation; so maybe the legislature is worried about museum workers and possible visitors crowding buses to go to museums? It makes no sense, because transportation is full and in crisis precisely on weekdays and much emptier on Saturdays and Sundays.”

But there is also more according to AGTA: “The other element that strikes our attention is that museums will only be able to be reopened in white and yellow bands, although the government has clearly said that in the coming weeks it will be very likely that almost all regions will be increasingly colored. As of tomorrow, only five regions and one autonomous province will be in the yellow band, and only in those will directors be allowed to reopen if they want to. In fact, the major sites in Campania (Pompeii, Herculaneum, Caserta) have already published the notice to reopen, and we are happy about that. Does no one wonder how they plan to handle this legislation, knowing that from one day to the next a region can change to orange? We wish Campania to become even white soon, but if it were to turn orange these sites would close again at any moment. So they open Monday through Saturday but as long as the Minister of Health does not switch the entire region to another color. How many sites and museums will reopen under these absurd conditions? Almost none.”

Why then this decision? “Since we believe that all this is too crazy to be accidentally conceived,” Ruggiero concludes, “we have unfortunately come to the conclusion that such regulations can only be explained by the desire to make it unnecessary to open and leave them closed. So then they will say that the museums turned out to be empty and that it is too expensive to open and close them all the time anyway. The new regulations appear to be the unholy response to those who have been protesting against the closure in recent months. Most people have taken in only the announcement of the reopening and record that news as positive, but those in the industry have realized that in fact almost nothing will reopen. More importantly, that in the coming months, openings/closures will automatically be tied to the health situation, taking the responsibility for the decision away from MIBACT. Kudos to those who came up with this solution, which bounces an issue from the ’cultural heritage-tourism’ sector to health care. And that makes everyone happy and ’bungled’.”

Tour guides tough on museums open on weekdays and in yellow zone:
Tour guides tough on museums open on weekdays and in yellow zone: "a mockery"

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