With a few billion from the Recovery Fund we can revive culture and jobs. The petition

A young art historian addresses a petition to Conte and Franceschini asking them to invest a small portion of the Recovery Fund to boost cultural work.

An appeal addressed to politicians to invest part of Italy’s share of Next Generation EU (i.e., the recovery fund that will help European countries rise from the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic) in cultural work. It is being launched by young art historian Rosanna Carrieri, addressing it directly to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Minister of Cultural Heritage Dario Franceschini.

At the moment, there are ten investments proposed by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism worth just over 6 billion euros, compared to a total value of 677 billion euros of all the projects presented (Italy will be able to get a maximum of 209 billion). However, they do not directly concern cultural work, although they will have beneficial effects on the sector: the projects concern the digitization of cultural heritage, energy efficiency of Museums and Places of Culture, earthquake-proofing of buildings of worship, an integrated national system of monitoring and risk prevention for Italian cultural sites and places, strengthening the internationalization of cinema and audiovisual, the redevelopment of villages, the enhancement of contributions to private individuals for the restoration of cultural heritage, decontribution for tourism workers, digitization and modernization of travel agencies and tour operators, and investments for the 5G network.

There is no shortage of calls for the government to invest in jobs as well, however. Already in the aftermath of the approval of the Recovery Fund, on these pages the director of Finestre sull’Arte, Federico Giannini, was proposing plans to boost cultural spending, investments in “minor” heritage, libraries, archives, digital, staff training, support for projects capable of having spin-offs on the territories, and a public contemporary art plan. Yesterday, the association Mi Riconosci? listed two proposals to invest 7 billion for culture: a review of the outsourcing system and a hiring plan at MiBACT commensurate with needs.

Rosanna Carrieri’s petition, which has already reached nearly five thousand signatures, sees the Recovery Fund as a possible turning point for Italian cultural policies. “The cultural sector,” declares the art historian, “in these decades has been transformed into a hotbed of exploitation, generating blackmail and unhappiness, between shoddy contracts, free or underpaid labor, layoffs and no protection.” Now, Carrieri continues, the money is there, “and it is an extraordinary opportunity to structurally intervene on the problems of the cultural sector, problems that the lockdown has radicalized and exposed before everyone’s eyes, showing the deep weaknesses and distortions of the system.”

“We can proceed with new hires,” Carrieri continued, “based on the needs of each municipality, each region, and the central ministry, which today has organic shortages of at least 6,000 posts. Specialized offices can be created in many other areas for which today the Ministry relies on outside companies without developing any plans over time. We can reform the system of outsourcing, which over the years has generated a chaotic situation in which wages are at a premium as well as workers’ rights: the largest Italian museums, in fact, cede an important slice of income to outside companies, and these companies save as much as possible on workers, not having as a priority that of paying for our skills and professionalism.”

The young scholar’s request to the premier and minister is therefore to “make that investment, to hire, to change everything, and to make sure that the Italian cultural system returns to creating wealth for the public coffers, for all our fellow citizens, relying on the work of thousands and thousands of cultural heritage professionals like me.” With the goal of revitalizing work and culture to reach far.

With a few billion from the Recovery Fund we can revive culture and jobs. The petition
With a few billion from the Recovery Fund we can revive culture and jobs. The petition

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