Postcard from... Rome
It’s not clear whether it’s an exercise in buck passing, giving power to the people – or a bit of both. But officials in charge of restoring Italy’s precious culture heritage have given the public the chance to decide which antiquities or works of art should be saved first.
The Culture Ministry chose eight works from across the country which are badly in need of repair. They ranged from an ancient Roman marble horse to Renaissance paintings by Raphael and Perugino. The art-loving public was asked to vote on a dedicated Facebook page for the work they felt most deserved to be restored.
“Italy needs help restoring its art and monuments,” ministry official Anna Maria Buzzi said. “Ticket sales alone are not enough to completely fund their upkeep.”
But some observers say neither the government nor its citizens should be choosing which precious objects to save and which to neglect given that Italy earns so much in tourism from its arts an antiquities.
France, which has rather less to preserve and restore, spends 1 per cent of its GDP on culture compared with only 0.2 per cent in Italy. Restoration experts and engineers frequently note that even economically hamstrung Greece does a better job of caring for its antiquities, despite the economic crisis.
Perugino’s painting Madonna and Child won the Facebook vote. It’s not clear what will happen to the other seven works of art. What is certain is that there are many more in need of attention.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises in the installa...
£30000 - £35500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Provisioning Specialist is required to join ...
£10000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an outstanding opportunity for 1...