Italy Plans to Raise Museum Admissions Prices After Flood –

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Following catastrophic floods that have crippled the Emilia-Romagna region, Italy has announced a plan to raise museum admission fees across the country by €1 in an attempt to help save “cultural heritage” that has been damaged during the floods, according to a report by The Art Newspaper.

The price hike is part of a €2 billion aid package announced by Italian culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano which would run for a scant three months, only at state-run museums, from June 15 through September 15. Still, there is some controversy over how much good the meager price hike would actually do.

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NAPLES, ITALY - APRIL 29: The Italian colors painted in the Rione Sanità district on the eve of the match that could guarantee the victory of the third Serie A championship on April 29, 2023, in Naples, Italy. The city of Naples is preparing to celebrate the victory of the third Scudetto in the Serie A championship. In the streets of the historic center and in the various districts of Naples, decorations, flags, and banners have been set up which celebrate the football championship played by the team coached by Spalletti. The players could become champions of Italy in advance, if they manage to beat Salernitana in the Campania derby in the match that will be played on Sunday at 3 pm at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium and in the event that Lazio fail to win away against the Internazionale. Napoli has won two Scudetti in its history in the 1986-1987 and 1989-1990 seasons, both victories were obtained with the presence of Diego Armando Maradona, the Neapolitan fans are waiting to be able to celebrate 33 years after the last success. (Photo Ivan Romano/Getty Images)

According to The Art Newspaper, “some cultural commentators [warn such a measure] could drive Italians away from museums” and, already, only around 20% of the Italian population visited a museum in 2022.

Critics say that the price hike will hurt those who already found museum admission fees too pricey.

“I don’t think that this policy is right, if only for an evident lack of social equality,” Giuliano Volpe, a professor of archaeology at the University of Bari and former advisor to Dario Franceschini, the former culture minister, told The Art Newspaper. “The country should be helping the young and unemployed.”

Some Italian government officials, like Vittorio Sgarbi, a culture ministry undersecretary, have been calling for free museum entrance and pushing back against the price hike. Meanwhile others believe a small price hike is exactly what the institutions need. “This contribution from all could really resolve a dramatic situation,” Giordano Bruno Guerri, president of the Fondazione Vittoriale, told the newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano.

The floods have damaged at least 75 historic buildings, 6 archaeological sites, 12 libraries and archives, according to The Art Newspaper. On Thursday, the Italian government mobilized the illustrious Blue Helmets to help locate and save any historical works.

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