Coronavirus, culture aldermen of major Italian cities ask government to support culture

Culture aldermen from Italy's largest cities have appealed to the government to call for urgent measures to help the sector counter the coronavirus emergency. Here are what they are.

The culture aldermen of Italy’s largest cities have written a letter to the government and regional presidents asking for support for the sector, which needs urgent and effective measures. We publish the text of the letter below.

To the Government of the Republic of Italy, the Presidents of the Regions

Curbing the spread of Covid-19 requires sacrifices from everyone. And we all must strictly follow the rules and minimize contact: Yes, #iorestoacasa. The total suspension of cultural activities was the first of the measures to reduce sociality, first in northern regions and then throughout Italy. Measures to absorb its impacts are now essential and cannot be postponed. The production and services related to performing arts, visual arts, cinema, publishing, museums, libraries and archives, and the provision of cultural experiences in general, largely rely on workers with few guarantees and who, at a time like the one we are experiencing, risk everything. These are women and men who often live from an economy made up of passion but with very small margins of survival, of constant risk. Artists and workers with atypical contracts, VAT numbers, freelancers, occasional or day labor, and so on. Sometimes brought together in associations, cooperatives, small businesses, networks, and also, of course, employees, often term workers. The entire world of culture also rests on their shoulders and without rapid support interventions it will not be able to recover from the crisis, with very serious consequences that fall on the entire country.

Cultural life is a distinctive feature of Italy and a fundamental resource of the country: it is our best business card in the world, it gives skilled work to millions of people, it is a determining factor for well-being and quality of life, for democracy and social cohesion.

We therefore call in the immediate term for:
declare a state of crisis for the entire public and private cultural sector
extend all available instruments of employment protection provided in the state of crisis to all categories of workers, regardless of the types of employment contracts
extend, even temporarily for the coming months, access to citizenship income to operators with or without a VAT number - of the cultural sector introduce instruments of protection towards workers in a sector where precariousness is structural
intervene in the banking system for the temporary suspension of payments of short- and medium-term credit and extension of the terms of maturity for a duration equal to that of the suspension
broaden the number of beneficiaries of the FUS and consider the period of interruption of activity due to the provisions of the State with criteria that do not generate a reduction in the contributions allocated as well as allocate extraordinary resources to compensate for the fall in the own revenues of entities, institutions and organizations
enact specific rules to authorize local authorities to operate in derogation of general and specific rules concerning the payment of contributions to cultural activities and the collection of local charges and taxes.

Culture has always had a great capacity to generate trust, a sense of community, hope, to imagine unprecedented scenarios even in the most difficult of historical situations. There are already many initiatives taken by those working in it to be close to our fellow citizens in their homes. And many more will be. It is urgent that the Italian Republic do its part to support this world

First signers:
Luca Bergamo, Deputy Mayor with responsibility for Cultural Growth - Rome
Adham Darawsha, Councilor for Cultures and Democratic Participation - Palermo
Filippo Del Corno, Councillor for Culture - Milan
Eleonora De Majo, Councillor for Culture and Tourism - Naples
Barbara Grosso, Councillor for Cultural Policies, Education, and Youth - Genoa
Francesca Leon, Councillor for Culture - Turin
Matteo Lepore, Councillor for Culture and Tourism - Bologna
Paola Mar, Councillor for Tourism, Toponymy, Decentralization and Municipality - Venice
Ines Pierucci, Councillor for Cultural and Tourism Policies - Bari
Tommaso Sacchi, Councillor for Culture - Florence

Coronavirus, culture aldermen of major Italian cities ask government to support culture
Coronavirus, culture aldermen of major Italian cities ask government to support culture

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