Mattarella re-elected President of the Republic. All the times he spoke about art and culture

Sergio Mattarella has been re-elected President of the Republic. We have collected all his best speeches on the topic of art and culture.

With 759 votes out of a total of 983 present and voting, Sergio Mattarella was re-elected President of the Republic. He is the second most voted president in Republican history (the record is still that of Sandro Pertini, elected with 832 votes). “I thank the presidents of the House and Senate for their communication,” he said after the announcement of the outcome of the vote by the presidents of the House and Senate. “I would like to thank the parliamentarians and delegates of the regions for the confidence expressed in me. The difficult days spent in the election to the Presidency of the Republic during the serious emergency we are still going through - on the health, economic and social fronts - call for a sense of responsibility and respect for the decisions of Parliament. These conditions dictate that one must not shirk the duties to which one is called - and, of course, must prevail over other considerations and different personal perspectives - with a commitment to interpret the expectations and hopes of our fellow citizens.” During his first term as Head of State, Sergio Mattarella spoke several times on official occasions on issues concerning art and culture. We have collected below some of his most interesting speeches.

Il Presidente Sergio Mattarella visita la Collezione d’arte permanente della Fondazione Roma e la Mostra dal titolo “Sicilia, il Grand Tour”
President Sergio Mattarella visits the Permanent Art Collection of the Fondazione Roma and the Exhibition entitled “Sicily, the Grand Tour”

Speech on the occasion of the presentation of the reproduction of Caravaggio’s Nativity (Palermo, December 12, 2015)

Our country is privileged to have a great cultural heritage. We must have an intense sensitivity to young people and the appeal to culture and its development along with technological advances is very important.

Speech at the conference “Art Cities 3.0, the Future of Art Cities in Italy” (Mantua, November 11, 2016)

We Italians have an extraordinary cultural heritage, which the whole world admires. A heritage that we must certainly preserve, but also enhance, increase, and integrate with new projects. Italy is also identified with its unparalleled treasures, it is the history that has shaped them and that composes the DNA of our cities and our people, it is the osmosis between nature and man’s work that has formed urban fabrics, defined landscapes, given life to a social model and a civilization. This is not to say that we should feel like custodians of a museum. On the contrary, our treasures are inhabited, lived, alive every day. And it is precisely up to our responsibility to continue to make them live over time, so that they help us strengthen our ties of community and become levers of widespread knowledge, well-being, and growth of opportunities, in every sphere of society’s life. Italian creativity is the talent we have received and must never dissipate. Italian quality is a combination of tangible and intangible assets, of nature and experience, of genius and style. It is the added value of our social life and a value for our economy. Investing in art, education, cultural heritage, research, is always profitable. The return will always be greater than the spending commitment, because it gives us knowledge to preserve what needs to be preserved and stimuli to innovate, to transform with creativity.

Speech at the “President of the Republic” Awards Ceremony for the year 2015 (Quirinale Palace, March 6, 2017)

Democracy has a duty [...]: it has a need to grow culture, to value art and music, to invest in research and knowledge, both by aiming upward - in competition and comparison with the whole world - and by expanding its base. It is no accident that the Constitution contains, among its fundamental principles, a solemn commitment to promote culture and research. On closer inspection, the very quality and essence of democracy is at stake. We understand this well in a season such as the one we are going through, in which we are called upon to face profound changes, global in scope, that challenge cohesion and social models, and pose us questions that go even beyond the cultural dimension by touching the very anthropological roots. Culture, art, and research-including the avenues opened by those avant-gardes that your Academies express-are therefore essential to the resilience of complex societies like ours, even more so than they were in the past when the pace of change was slower. Not to understand this, or to think that culture is indifferent to social, and even economic, development; or, even worse, that it is irrelevant to them, is a mistake you certainly do not make.

Message from President Mattarella to Minister Franceschini on the occasion of the National Landscape Day (Rome, March 14, 2017)

Article 9 of the Constitution, legislation and the far-sighted jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court nurture a widespread and multiform system of protection and enhancement of the landscape understood as the form and image of the environment, a reality created by the human community and marked by the continuous interaction between nature and man. A landscape thus no longer understood as a list of assets to be preserved, but the outcome of a continuous creative process of adaptation and transformation of territories, in the countryside as well as in cities. The changes in the places in which we live are in fact the consequence of choices made by man, the result of mediation between the legacy of the past and the prospects of the future, the historical and cultural memory of the community. All too often these choices have distorted and disfigured the landscape: building speculation, suburban urbanization without planning, unrestrained deforestation, industrial pollution harmful to terrestrial and marine genetic heritages. To prevent the recurrence of these degenerations, it is necessary to spread a conception of landscape as an essential asset and value not only cultural but civil and economic, capable of influencing individual quality of life and social well-being. In order to protect and promote the landscape as a common good, it is necessary to start again from a punctual action of planning policies and management choices, based on the interaction between State and territorial levels and, as indicated by the Council of Europe Convention, from a careful ability to listen to local communities.

Speech on the occasion of the ceremony for the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci, April 15, 2019)

Leonardo’s work remains an unparalleled source of inspiration. His life journey gives one pause for thought: from his training in Tuscany-appropriately investigated by the exhibition we will soon visit, dedicated to “the origins of genius”-until his sojourn at the courts of the people who ruled the various states: Milan, Rome, then France. What would the Renaissance have been without the essential contribution of policies of prestige that were also measured in the cultural and artistic fields? A patronage, that of the courts of the time, sometimes an expression of taste and aesthetic interest but also, sometimes, a desire to show off the riches possessed and the power of a state. Alongside the confrontation of arms (terrain that was no stranger to Leonardo’s quest), that of culture. In our time - fortunately - it is the latter that we are called to deal with. And this reminds us of the importance of institutional support for culture. And it reminds us, too, of the duty to highlight [...] Leonardo’s contribution to humanism. A contribution that, almost karstically, recurs whenever it appears necessary to reflect on the freedom of research, of culture or, more simply, on freedom with a capital L; and on the dignity of the person.

Speech on the occasion of the David di Donatello ceremony (Palazzo del Quirinale, May 11, 2021)

I am well aware that the performing arts, in general, and live entertainment in particular, is among the sectors most affected by the consequences of the pandemic, beyond the government’s relevant interventions to support the sector. This is an impoverishment-economic and cultural, the latter not compensable-that cannot remain for long. Because cinema, theater, music, dance - in a word, art - are not additional elements of social life. Beautiful, lofty, comforting, yet they can be dispensed with in the face of more serious and urgent problems. They constitute, on the contrary, an indispensable part of it. The pandemic has forced us to close the doors of cinemas and theaters, as in the dark periods of human history, when stages and sets are empty, when orchestras are silent and no one dances. [...] Art, creativity, and culture cannot help but breathe the will to build tomorrow. Audiences recognize themselves in the stories of cinema. And it wants to continue to dream, to think, to get excited, to get passionate. Cinema is a network of connection that makes us feel part of the community, its experience and its hopes for the future.

Speech at the opening of the 2020-2021 edition of the “Quirinale Contemporaneo” exhibition (Palazzo del Quirinale, Sept. 29, 2021)

Art, with its creativity, providentially does not stop. It continues to provide and give us works, interpretations, emotions. Institutions, truly connected with society and the life of the country, have the task - and I would like to add the duty - to recognize them, to welcome them.

Speech on the occasion of the start of work on the Art History Library at the Quirinale (Quirinale Palace, December 21, 2021)

I am really very pleased that before the end of my seven-year term, work will begin to realize this great project, a choice of great significance. I emphasize that this is a great cultural operation, which gives the city of Rome, in its center, a dynamic place of study, which preserves a great heritage of our country’s culture and which looks to the future, because it is by collecting and making available to scholars, those of today and those of the future, this great heritage that the library will contain, that means projecting into the future the culture that our country has accumulated over the centuries. The culture that is the soul of our country and that makes its prospects for the future more reassuring, because without that dimension every other activity, commitment or side of social life loses meaning and hardly finds its own dimension and awareness. I am very grateful for what has been done. Three years is a reasonably short time for such a demanding work, and it is a great achievement: the project that architect Botta has given us and that with such skill and wisdom of image and division makes it possible to really make this building and this complex a truly living reality of the city center. The Quirinal is delighted to have made this building available for this purpose, and what we are doing together and starting today is really a great contribution to the future of our country.

Mattarella re-elected President of the Republic. All the times he spoke about art and culture
Mattarella re-elected President of the Republic. All the times he spoke about art and culture