Councilors for festivals -

Councilors for festivals -


From the «sbronzi di Riace» to the Festa del radicchio rosso, we look more at folklore than at safeguarding treasures. Our heritage neglected and debased by the "cultural" choices of the Regions

But how are the regional councilors for culture? The Salerno "school" of Vincenzo De Luca has been sanctioned for years: "We will not propose contemporary art exhibitions that squeeze the perpendiculars. Even less highly cultural events intended for twelve penguins gathered in a living room. They, these important intellectuals, should consider that there is also a popular culture no less dignified than other forms and artistic expressions». That is his course, that he follows. Having therefore assigned the councilorship to whoever he most esteems, i.e. himself, the president has been delegating a councilor for years to «instruct cultural practices». Having started with the philosopher Sebastiano Maffettone, he then opted for Patrizia Boldoni, the third (ex) wife of Corrado Ferlaino, a lady of the salons, a curriculum full of real estate and an "accident" (the conviction in the first instance for evading a couple of million ) paid for with a brief purgatory before returning...

If one of the accusations against the Campania governor is that he centralizes everything by holding on to the glittering scepter of culture councilor, free to cut funds at San Carlo or Mercadante, saving Verdi and Luci d'artista in Salerno, it must be said that it is not The only. Culture was held, after the initial investiture to Massimo Bray, the Apulian governor Michele Emiliano. The Tuscan Eugenio Giani kept it, who on the official website recalls being the "author of numerous essays and books on various topics of a sporting and cultural nature", from Florence and Fiorentina to Florentine festivities... The one from Basilicata Vito Bardi, a soldier of the Finance who rose from the Nunziatella to the rank of general of the Army Corps, kept it. On the other hand, the councilors in the autonomous province of South Tyrol have three, with responsibility also for education: one for German culture, one for Italian culture, one for Ladin culture. Result? Dunno... The integral trilingualism imagined by dreamers like Alex Langer is turning into a daily laziness that Arnold Tribus, the director of the «Südtiroler Tageszeitung», photographs like this: «Everyone speaks their own language and looks after their own shop».

Not only in the Dolomites, of course. The Calabrian political workshop, to say, is more interested in "cultural attractors" than in culture as Alberto Ronchey or Giovanni Spadolini might understand it. Pieces of art or landscape to catch tourists. After the Riace Bronzes, already exalted as «fetishes of our “cultural marketing”» (copyright Salvatore Settis), gradually exploited for the most insane commercials, from the advertising of Reggio eggs ("very large eggs!") to beer festivals ("Gli sbronzi di Riace") up to the "Japanese-type erotic inflatable dolls with the appearance of Bronzes», here are the «identity markers»: «Scylla and Charybdis», the «Ox of Papasidero», the «Pythagoras Theorem» or the «Treasure of Talaric». Excuse me, the archaeologist Battista Sangineto asked with sulphurous innocence, wasn't the king of the Visigoths Alaric without the T? He doesn't mind: maybe some tourists will come Yankee confusing him with Steven Tyler, the very famous rock frontman originally from Crotone, for his fellow villagers Stefano Tallarico.

It's a fixed one of the cultural "markers" or "attractors".. And the guardianship? The recovery of decaying treasures? Safeguarding assets at risk? Dunno... In a country that prides itself on having a gazillion Unesco sites and entrusts them to surveyors or dental technicians, with the utmost respect for their work, our historical and cultural wealth is too often debased to a recovery of generic identity traditions largely linked to festivals. «A sausage is worth more than a book, one would think», Francesco Jori wrote months ago in «Mattino di Padova», «scrolling the list of ad hoc contributions disbursed by the Region to finance the “dissemination and enhancement of the cultural on which the Venetian identity finds its foundation". Two examples? «The entire library network of the Venice metropolitan area is awarded just over 12 thousand euros, as many as the “Prealpi in festa” event in Cordignano», that of the entire province of Belluno «just under 11 thousand: how many granted to Rio San Martino for cultural initiatives and gastronomic and convivial events on the occasion of the red radicchio festival» and so on, including a contribution to the Solighetto festival where a futuristic «wheelbarrow race» stands out. Oh God, in 2023 it should go a little better, but in total 400,000 euros would go to the 742 Veneto libraries (including museums and archives) against the 1,200,000 (triple) allocated for their own by Piedmont. Same parties, different choices.

Theme: should we be optimistic about the hypothesis that the Calderoli bill with the "Provisions for the implementation of differentiated autonomy" leaves the Regions with the possibility of each taking possession of their own slice of the cultural and landscape heritage? «The exceptional Italian artistic heritage constitutes a treasure national, and as such must be entrusted to the protection and control of a central body», explained Concetto Marchesi to the Constituent Assembly. And he recalled that the Accademia dei Lincei itself, faced with the risk of future delegations to the Regions, begged that "the large centers of excavation and restoration of monuments (were) not removed from national control". Indeed, he brought up «his» beloved island: «Sicily is all of a grandiose and glorious museum, ladies and gentlemen, and we must not allow local interests, local irresponsibilities to threaten such a precious national heritage».

History proved him right. With its nine Unesco "stamps" (two immaterial) from the Valley of the Temples to the Val di Noto, Sicily has half as many countries full of art and landscapes as Greece or Turkey and is on par, by itself, with others such as Norway. But how does he use them, if the goal is to "use" them? From the Greek theater of Eraclea Minoa eroded by neglect to the semi-abandoned excavations of Morgantina, from the ruins of Tindari to the Roman Villa in Piazza Armerina with the mosaics trampled by tourists without even a protection, from the Eurialo castle infested with weeds to the packed theater of Syracuse in the wood to host the theater season, but still more than fifteen rock concerts, the panorama is bleak. Yet the councilor for culture of the Sicilian Region Francesco Paolo Scarpinato, in a recent forum at the "Quotidiano di Sicilia", puffed out his chest like a capercaillie: "25 percent of the cultural heritage in the world is in our region...". boom! «And so three-quarters of the properties recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites!» Boom boom!

But has an idea, the ineffable, how many there are assets scattered around the planet, from the Chinese wall to the Inca sites, from the Egyptian pyramids to the neolithic sanctuary of Stonehenge? 1.157. And they keep growing. Non-commissioned officer, expert in missions abroad, high school at the hotel school, ours was diverted to Culture because in Tourism where he was, in Renato Schifani's council, he had gotten bogged down in the 6 million euro tender without tender (later revoked in self-defense to curb judicial inquiries) to the Luxembourg company Absolute Blu for the «Sicily, Woman and Cinema 2023» event at the Cannes Film Festival. On the other hand, who can know the numbers, he who has just ousted Italia nostra and Legambiente from the Observatory on the Landscape, in a department that does not put online the number of visitors and the proceeds of the various museum sites (hurray for the autonomy and transparency!) since 2018?

«Ugh, the usual Sicily…», someone will sigh. She will be. But the Department of Culture of Italian region richest in Unesco "stamps". (ten, own or shared) and that is Lombardy, went to Francesca Caruso a few weeks ago. do you deserve? Have you been part of Ignazio La Russa's law firm? No, he reassured: «I'll face my new role with humility, but I've breathed culture quite a bit. My grandmother was Fausto Papetti's sister». A phenomenon, with the trumpet.

May 23, 2023 (change May 23, 2023 | 21:10)

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