Da The Guardian del 14/10/2005
Originale su http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/news/story/0,11711,1591800,00.html

Day of strikes over Italy arts cuts

di John Hooper

Rome - Cinemas, theatres, concert halls and opera houses and even circuses in Italy will be empty today because of a combined strike and lockout in protest at huge cuts to the arts budget ordered by Silvio Berlusconi's government. Impresarios and distributors are to join actors and musicians in the initiative, launched under the slogan "Closing for a day so as not to close forever".

The draft budget for next year lops about a third off the main fund for the performing arts. Cultural institutions said they faced reductions of up to 40% in resources.

Davide Croff, president of the Venice Biennale, said he would have to scrap the city's film festival unless the budget were modified. "If things remain as they are, we will not manage it," he told the daily La Repubblica.

At Milan's world-renowned La Scala opera house, the artistic director, Stéphane Lissner, said: "The entire art world in Italy is in danger."

A group of professional organisations said 60,000 jobs and 5,000 companies were at risk. The country's film distributors are also joining in, which will postpone the premiere of a film by the Oscar-winning actor-director Roberto Benigni.

Public funding for the arts has declined steadily in real terms since Mr Berlusconi's conservative government came to office four years ago. But the latest proposals are more sweeping than anything previously announced and will test the clout of his new culture minister, Rocco Buttiglione.

Mr Buttiglione was given the arts portfolio earlier this year after being rejected for a seat on the EU commission because of remarks he made about gay people and single mothers. Before details of the new budget emerged, he said: "We have already given up more than we would have liked. We cannot suffer further cuts."

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