Mart, Rovereto

A modern culture for the common good

Abstract (full paper here)

The archaeological, artistic and landscape heritage of Italy is as important as it is unique. But we have neither the economic means nor the political will to safeguard it in full. This deficiency does not just mean that walls collapse in Pompeii or that ancient ruins are covered in weeds. There are also the thousands of archaeological finds that lie uncatalogued in the cellars of municipal buildings, museums divorced from their own public, cinemas closing one after the other, whole swathes of the country ravaged as rules on the environment are waived. There are also the arts, like dance or the theatre, deprived of the necessary funding and management.

The point is that there is no vertical strategy for our cultural sectors, just as there is no horizontal strategy for any systematic coverage of culture and creativity. Neither has any integration been made (on the basis of EU specifications) where the various sectors are united in a single vision. With regards the production process as a whole, we cannot decide whether culture is the point of departure or arrival of various complex procedures, each with their own range of actors, business activities and cognitive processes.

More generally, there is an absence of any nationwide plan regarding conservation, protection and valorisation. This problem reflects, and is the result of, a lack of vision regarding the relationship between culture, the landscape and the future. There must be a public project for the future of the city, and for the country as a whole, which involves the reuse – or as is discussed in the paper – the transformation of our heritage and our territory. This should be accompanied by the development of new art and the establishment of spaces that encourage creativity and innovation. In short, we need an influx of modernity.

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