Performers strike to protest Italy’s arts funding cuts

Posted on: November 23, 2010

In Monday’s (11/22) Guardian (London), Tom Kington writes, “Cinemas, theatres, concert halls, opera houses and circuses across Italy shut today for a one-day strike in protest against … arts spending cuts. Up to 250,000 actors, opera singers, technicians and ticket sellers were expected to take part in the strike as the Berlusconi government pushed through an austerity budget which will cut €146m [$199 million], or 37%, from subsidies to the performing arts next year. Strikers met in Rome, Bari, Genoa and Milan, where Toni Servillo, the star of the mafia film Gomorrah addressed protesters alongside Stéphane Lissner, artistic director of La Scala opera house. … The cuts, which will reduce art subsidies from €408m to €262m, are part of a broader decline in culture and archaeology funding … Italy’s culture minister, Sandro Bondi, who is due to face a no confidence vote next Monday … also came under fire last month when actors and directors blocked the red carpet at the Rome film festival in protest against the arts cuts.”

Posted November 23, 2010