In the end, Italy undervalues the potential (also economic) of its artistic and cultural heritage, and therefore there are no investments to capitalize on it. Culture is an oil field we don’t know how to extract (moreover, we don’t want to extract the real petroleum in Basilicata or the Adriatic Ocean…). How much have public and private professionals cultivated and valued the economic potential (other than museum tickets) of the Ebe di Canova in Forli, Arcimboldo’s greengrocer in Cremona, or Guttuso’s Vucciria in Palermo? Possessing a masterpiece is not enough: you need to build infrastructure around it, a tourist area, a history of communication, an image, use digital technologies, and involve the region’s other assets (artistic, natural, gastronomic, musical, artisanal, and entrepreneurial).
You probably can’t make a living off culture alone, but culture can catalyze growth. Provided that three ingredients are used: more planning, less arguing, and greater faith in the economic potential of culture. Otherwise, lets lend the Riace Bronzes to New Orleans, who would pay a rich royalty with the certainty that they’d make it back with interest.
Marco Magnani – Il Sole 24 Ore 14.10.2015