Wednesday, November 26, 2008


The Italian Minister of Cultural Affairs, Sandro Bondi wishes to implement a new policy starting next year. First he wants to lease Italian works of Art to foreign museums on the model set up since 2000 by my cousin Bruno Racine, ex-head of the Beaubourg Museum in Paris.

He will start his new policy with leases to "America and to Arabia”. Alain Elkann, an advisor to the Minister who went to the United States a month ago to meet directors from eleven museums, in the role of travelling salesman, thus stated: “The model is the Louvre, who besides lending a part of its collection to Abou Dhabi passed an agreement with a museum in Atlanta, Georgia which will bring in 6 million dollars for the Parisian institution."

In order to carry out the “plan for museums and archeological sites”, a “Super manager” [sic] for museums, with full powers, has just been named by the Minister, without going through the usual screening and selection of applicants. The lucky winner is Mario Resca, 62, a friend of Silvio Berlusconi, head of McDonald’s Italy until 2007 and who has since directed a gambling casino. He of course has no knowledge or experience in museums or art history.

Mario thinks that museum works are “an oil field with zero cost” and that his role will be to “increase the value of this wealth.” Why not ? Of course all the well-thinkers of Italy and France are up in arms but it is well known that the Philistines never admitted that art is nothing else than a big market, for everybody, including the artists.

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