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Pietrangelo Buttafuoco, supporter of Georgia Meloni, on track to chair the Venice Biennale

“Often, the Biennale has been considered by the left as a stronghold in which to place friends and acolytes.

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Pietrangelo Buttafuoco, supporter of Georgia Meloni, on track to chair the Venice Biennale

“Often, the Biennale has been considered by the left as a stronghold in which to place friends and acolytes. Buttafuoco, finally, affirms a change of pace that the Meloni government wants to imprint in each cultural and social center of the nation: only personalities chosen for their depth, their competence and their authority", rejoiced the Venetian senator of the Fratelli party d'Italia Raffaele Speranzon, Thursday October 26, in a ministerial note revealed by the transalpine press and relayed by our colleagues from the Huffington Post.

Also read “What anguish!”: the Italian cultural world in turmoil after the victory of Giorgia Meloni

These comments concern the appointment, by the Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano, of Pietrangelo Buttafuoco, declared support of Giorgia Meloni, at the head of the Venice Biennale which also manages the Mostra. Which raises a certain fear, particularly among left-wing elected officials. “Speranzon's comments on the appointment of Buttafuoco as president of the Venice Biennale Foundation bring out a frightening vision of the way the right conceives of our country's cultural institutions,” said left-wing MP Rachele Scarpa. . Comments corroborated by Irène Manzi, of the Democratic Party, who underline the control of Giorgia Meloni's government over culture: “Today the right has taken a further step in the conception of the State as property. His assault on the country’s cultural institutions is truly disturbing.”

The enthusiasm for the appointment of Pietrangelo Buttafuoco was, however, shared by the President of Veneto, Luca Zaia, member of the Northern League: “I thank Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano for the appointment and the great attention paid to the Foundation and to all questions regarding Venice. The presidency plays an important role in guiding and supporting the Biennale, particularly for its far-sighted role in promoting art and culture in areas that have not yet been explored.”

The Sicilian journalist and writer, born in 1963 in Catania, would take office in March 2024, the date which marks the end of Roberto Cicutto's mandate, "in order to guarantee the necessary institutional continuity and a progressive and orderly transfer of power", specified sources close to the Ministry of Culture. The proposed appointment of Pietrangelo Buttafuoco must still be submitted to the advisory opinion of the cultural committees of the Chamber and the Senate. But for the Italian press, the matter has already been decided.

By virtue of a vast game of musical chairs, the Meloni government seeks to place certain of its cronies at the head of state radio and television or prestigious public institutions. Its opponents see it as the Italian executive's desire to control the public cultural service. Last May, Carlo Fuortes, the managing director of Raï, justified his departure by the pressure put on him by his supervisory authorities.

Before arriving at Raï, this same Fuortes was at the head of the Rome Opera Theater. And the government would have considered giving him a golden plaque by giving him the direction of the Naples Opera. A Council of Ministers immediately adopted several decisions, including a measure immediately dubbed by the media "the Fuortes article": it requires all directors of opera theaters over the age of 70 to leave their position no later than 10 June. Stéphane Lissner, the French director of the Naples Opera, affected by this decision, was dismissed and his departure made it possible to re-employ Carlo Fuortes. However, according to information from Radio France, this decree was invalidated last September by the Naples court, judging it “illegitimate” and “unconstitutional”. The prestigious Neapolitan theater thus found itself, which is rather nerdish, with two bosses.

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