Breaking: Orchestra slasher gets swift promotion

A week ago we reported that orchestras across Italy had been told by the Ministry of Culture that their subsidy was being sharply cut. Media in Germany, Austria and the US have picked up the story with varying degrees of alarm.

Today, the official who signed the letter in the dead of August, Salvatore Nastasi, has been promoted to deputy head of the prime minister’s office.

Looks like a smart career move…. or an Italian job.

Nastasi is 42. He’ll go far.

As for the orchestras, who knows?

Or cares…?

 

Il direttore generale del ministero dei Beni Culturali, Salvatore Nastasi, durante una conferenza stampa oggi 23 marzo 2011 a palazzo Chigi a Roma.   ANSA / ETTORE FERRARI

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  • Italians do care as do many others about the situation in Italy. Putting this out during the traditional vacation period speaks badly for him and the government.

  • Having rec’d more details, it’s very difficult to understand the lack of value the Italian government has for one of their most important assets. Music and the arts have always been the source of so many people traveling to listen or study in Italy. People used to describe Italian cultural assets as the oil or minerals Italy doesn’t have. Tourists who have never been to an opera performance can’t wait to get off the planes or cruise ships to get to opera theatres…not only La Scala.. While fashion and cuisine can be duplicated or copied, the one thing that can’t be copied is Italian cultural assets. Why can’t they recognize this for Heaven’s Sake!

  • First, arts institutions who receive support routinely spend most within their community. Second, if you look at the governments budget, the budgets even arts is microscopic when compared with other departments. Third, it is a valuable tourist attraction. Opera companies should hire an analyst who could place a value on this increase hotel and restaurant business and to report on the expenses and the salaries that returned to the economy.

  • Unfortunately this is an old pattern: the more damage you do the highest the reward. Keep in mind that none of these people are accountable for what they do (oh, by the way, they were not even elected). The italian government has been cutting on arts since I can remember and this is just the last one of a very long list.
    I wrote a post blog about it last week.

    • If even Italy gets suicidal on its culture, what hope for Europe as a whole?

      I always feel that part of the problem is, yes, democracy. When numbers give weight to policy making which jumps from election to election, populism wins – the voice of the masses which are more numerous than the more or less educated classes that visit the museums, opera houses, concert halls etc.

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