Domenica, 23 Settembre 2018

Govt aims to end Pompeii's woes with director general


(by Kate Carlisle)Rome, August 2 - A new director
general for the archeological site of Pompeii and the area
surrounding it is part of a decree approved in Italy's cabinet
on Friday to boost the country's cultural sector.
"Project Pompeii is a project coordinating initiatives for
the archaeological site. It will be overseen by a director
general to ensure compliance with the commitments regarding
Pompeii, who will also have special superintendence over
Herculaneum and Stabia," Italian Culture Minister Massimo Bray
"Pompeii will become an example of transparency and a
positive example of the south," Bray said.
The site has been plagued by accusations of mismanagement
and neglect for decades.
Falls of structures over the past two years has caused
growing concern about Italy's ability to protect the
2,000-year-old treasure from further degradation and the
impact of the local mafia, the Camorra.
In June, UNESCO asked Italy to apply a series of measures
or face having one of its most famous tourist destinations
removed from the elite World Heritage roster.
However, it withdrew its threat after the country and its
cultural ministry showed determination to stick by its plans to
restore and maintain the archeological site properly.
Premier Enrico Letta said that the decree will give "ample
power" to the director and foresees the "enhancement of Pompeii.
"It is our responsibility to make the site available for
the world," Letta said.
The director will be the "sole director" of the new
organization Project Pompeii, and will have the task of defining
schedules for works, while also being allowed to receive and
allocate donations.
The director will be supported by a maximum staff of 20
technicians, as well as five experts in law, economics,
architecture, urban planning and infrastructure.
Another project, the Great Pompeii Project, hashes out
plans for the revamping and preservation of the site was
announced in April.
Key points listed in the Great Pompeii Project are to
"secure the site's damaged areas and to ensure that this is done
using capable, honest businesses, not organized crime".
In March, a European Union Commission approved an injection
of 105 million euros in restoration funds for Pompeii's ailing
monuments, to be combined with matching money from Italy.
At least 50 million euros of the money earmarked by the EU
for restoration will be allocated by the end of the year while a
parallel project of private investors and businesses to
develop areas surrounding the archeological site is also
Friday's decree also includes measures worth more than 180
million euros in tax credits and new funding across a range of
activities from encouraging street art, to saving foundering
operas and symphonies to revamping key museums to helping the
cinema sector.
In addition to measures for the archeological site of
Pompeii and the area surrounding it, the ''Cultural Value''
decree designates 90 million euros of tax credits to the movie
industry and another five million in tax credits to promote
young music composers and performers.
Five hundred university graduates under the age of 35 will
be hired for a year to digitalize and catalogue the cultural
assets of the country.
The first 100 hires will be drawn from southern Italian
regions of Puglia, Campania, Calabria and Sicily.
Eight million euros will be allocated to the revamping the
Uffizi Gallery in Florence and four million granted to the
Holocaust Museum of Ferrara.
Lyric opera and symphony foundations will be able to access
a special 75 million euro fund, to be administered by a
government appointed commissioner.
"We have assessed that it is necessary to have a
comprehensive measure for lyric-symphonic foundations" cornered
into difficulty, Letta said.
"The lyric foundations should not continually find
themselves with water up to their necks, and thus the decree
saves the foundations and gives them essential prospects of
stability," Letta added.
However access to the new lyric-symphonic funds requires
balancing budgets, coming up with a relaunch plan, terminating
all supplementary contracts, and firing up to 50% of technical
and administrative personnel.
The Culture Ministry has guaranteed jobs for a large
portion of prospective layoffs in the territorial offices of the
state-owned cultural asset caretaking company Ales SpA.
The decree also foresees allowing artists under age 35 to
create installations and new forms of expression in certain
state-owned spaces on a six-month rotating basis, similar to
Paris's "59 Rivoli".
The decree also gives the Culture Ministry (MiBAC) more
control over its own funds to better manage museums, which it
Moreover, the decree allows the ministry to keep all
revenues earned through ticket sales and merchandising,
reversing of government finance law from 2008 that reduced the
ministry's take to 10-15%.

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