The choice by Luigi Brugnaro, the mayor of Venice, to increase the closure of town’s 11 civic museums— together with the Doge’s Palace, the Museo Correr, Ca’ Rezzonico, Ca’ Pesaro and Palazzo Fortuny—till 1 April, the start of the vacationer season, has provoked a tradition battle in Venice and past. Italy’s museums have been closed since 5 November below nationwide authorities restrictions, that are at present resulting from carry on 15 January.
A petition calling on Brugnaro to reverse course, printed by the web Venetian newspaper Ytali, has gathered 3,000 signatures, together with these of main art-world figures reminiscent of Vittorio Sgarbi and Salvatore Settis, the writer of If Venice Dies. The Affiliation of the Worldwide Personal Committees for the Safeguarding of Venice has additionally written to the mayor expressing its deep concern. Brugnaro is vice-president of the muse that governs the civic museums, which can clarify why its president, Mariacristina Gribaudi, and director, Gabriella Belli, have declared that they don’t have anything to say to journalists.
The outrage goes past the truth that the mayor’s unilateral resolution will delay the furloughing of the museums’ 84 full-time workers and 500 exterior employees, and that the city council has diverted the €8m of extraordinary funding allotted to the museums by the Italian tradition ministry to steadiness its end-of-year price range.
The closure is seen as yet one more instance of how Brugnaro, a mainland businessman who was re-elected final autumn by a majority of mainland voters with the manifesto of bringing again tourism, doesn’t think about the pursuits and desires of the residents of the historic metropolis.
Brugnaro defended the choice in an interview with the newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano, saying: “I’m doing what any good household man would do. The opening of the museums depends upon whether or not folks can journey freely, on the pool of customers. Our museums rely principally on the vacationers. There’s a enterprise logic, an entrepreneurial tradition in making issues work. Ought to I be ashamed of administering a public asset like a enterprise enterprise, of constructing it worthwhile?” In response, the chief of the opposition within the city council, Monica Sambo, informed Ytali: “Why ought to the facilities of town be thought of related solely to vacationers?”
There’s an argument with main monetary implications which may persuade Brugnaro to vary his thoughts. The Doge’s Palace is among the many civic museums, however it is just in concession to the city council from the state and it’s by far the most well-liked and worthwhile ticketed attraction in Venice, accounting for 75% of the civic museums’ 2,142,000 guests in 2019. However the 1924 contract between the state and the city council stipulates that it have to be stored open to the general public: “Ought to the city council contravene [the conditions] of this conference or violate its spirit, which is to look at the phrases of concession of use… of one of the crucial wonderful monuments of Italian artwork and historical past, and as such the heritage of all mankind, the conference will instantly be revoked.”
It’s possible, nevertheless, that the pandemic will render your entire controversy a useless letter. Venice is at present in Italy’s “yellow zone”, the bottom stage of threat, which might permit for a reopening of museums after 15 January. However it could quickly be declared an “orange zone”, by which case its museums could be obliged by legislation to stay shut.