COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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 Italy - Profile Updates


1. Historical perspective: cultural policies and instruments

An extra 1 billion is being allocated for the regeneration of run down urban suburbs and for boosting the cultural consumption of 18 year olds in the 2016 state budget.

3. Competence, decision-making and administration

3.2 Overall description of the system

The potential abolition of the provinces will have an impact on responsibilities for archives and libraries and mediation on funding.

3. Competence, decision-making and administration

3.2 Overall description of the system

The departments within MiBACT were reorganised again in January 2016 and autonomy given to additional museums and sites, causing controversy among professionals.

3.4 International cultural co-operation

3.4.2 Public actors and cultural diplomacy

The budget for the Italian Cultural Institutes Abroad reduced by 30% since  2007 and cultural promotion staff decreased from 193 to 130.

3.4 International cultural co-operation

3.4.3 European / international actors and programmes

A new programme for Italian Capitals of Culture has been launched for 6 years from 2016-2021, to stimulate civic cultural planning capabilities.

3.4 International cultural co-operation

3.4.3 European / international actors and programmes

Two new Italian-UNESCO agreements were signed in 2016:  Unite for Heritage, a task force of “blue helmets for culture” for the rescue of endangered cultural goods and sites  and the establishment of a UNESCO training and research centre for cultural economics in Turin.

4. Current issues in cultural policy development and debate

4.2.1 Conceptual issues of policies for the arts

MiBACTs financial allocation for 2016 is 27% higher than the previous year, but is still significantly lower than the figure for 15 years earlier: the erosion of the budget started much in advance  of the economic downturn in recent years.

4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates

4.2.2 Heritage issues and policies

MiBACT will recruit 500 skilled experts in heritage safeguarding and valorisation in 2016: a welcomed partial remedy for a reduction in the ministry’s staff of over 7 000 between 2005 and 2015.

4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates

4.2.3 Cultural/creative industries: policies and programmes

A downsizing of -16% in the traditional cultural industries, with a negative fall out on related employment, occurred between 2010 and 2014, according to AGCOM.

4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates

4.2.7 Intercultural dialogue: actors, strategies, programmes

A more structured effort to address cultural diversity and integration issues was made in December 2015 by the launch of the “#MigraArti” arts project.

5.1 General legislation

5.1.3 Allocation of public funds

ARCUS, set up in 2001 to manage funds collected under the 3% of "capital expenditure for strategic infrastructure rule",   was closed in 2016 and its role subsumed by ALES.

5.1 General legislation

5.1.5 Tax laws

The reduced VAT rate on cultural goods of 4% was extended to E-books by the Financial Stability Law for 2015.

5.1 General legislation

5.1.5 Tax laws

The temporary Art Bonus, a tax credit up to 65% for donations to support cultural assets, was made permanent in the Financial Stability Law 2016.

5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.2 Performing arts and music

From 2015, innovative changes in the funding system for the performing arts include a move to triennial funding and controversial criteria for applications, based on algorithms,  which have been widely criticised.

5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.2 Performing arts and music

A rationalisation of the present "jungle" of organisations in the performing arts system has led to a controversial system of admissions and exclusions that looks likely to be re-addressed shortly.

5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.2 Performing arts and music

A Decree in January 2016 on cinema alsodelegates the government to rationalise legislation on the live performing arts in the long awaited, comprehensive reform - Codex for the Performing Arts.

5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.3 Cultural heritage

A controversial downgrading of heritage safeguarding decisions could be brought about by the implementation of a new law on the reform of public administration in 2016.

5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.4 Literature and libraries

An extra 1 billion is being allocated for the regeneration of run down urban suburbs and for boosting the cultural consumption of 18 year olds in the 2016 state budget.

5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.6 Film, video and photography

A draft law for cinema will increase by 60% the ad hoc state financial allocations, as well as introduce special incentives for young authors and support new cinema halls.

5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.7 Mass media

To address the crisis in the publishing industry a new draft law will create a Fund for the pluralism and innovation of information, between 2016 and 2018.

5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.7 Mass media

A law reforming the public broadcasting company – enhancing the role of a government appointed CEO - adopted in December 2016, has not been generally well received by critics.

6.2 Public cultural expenditure

6.2.1 Aggregated indicators

The total amount of public cultural expenditure in 2014 was 11.5% lower than in 2001: which is even more dramatic when inflation is taken into account.

6.2 Public cultural expenditure

6.2.2 Public cultural expenditure broken down by level of government

The total amount of public cultural expenditure in 2014 was 11.5% lower than in 2001: which is even more dramatic when inflation is taken into account.

6.2 Public cultural expenditure

6.2.3 Sector breakdown

MiBACTs financial allocation for 2016 is 27% higher than the previous year, but is still significantly lower than the figure for 15 years earlier: the erosion of the budget started much in advance  of the economic downturn in recent years.

6. Financing of culture

6.3. Trends and indicators for private cultural financing

Private giving for culture declined by 50% between 2008 and 2013.

6. Financing of culture

6.3. Trends and indicators for private cultural financing

The Prada Foundation has rejuvenated an area in the industrial part of Milandevoted to the arts, which opened in May 2015. A ten floor tower for art exhibitions and events is also in the pipeline.

7. Public institutions in cultural infrastructure

7.3 Status and partnerships of public cultural institutions

Rome Opera in 2016 - which has seen improvements in earned income, outreach, as well as artistic excellence and innovation - is a positive example of a sound management  of the reforms of the lyric foundations.

8.2 Cultural consumption and participation

8.2.1 Trends and figures

Attendance has declined for most disciplines apart from museum visits which have increased by 15% in the past six years thanks to new development strategies.

8.2 Cultural consumption and participation

8.2.1 Trends and figures

While participation rates for cultural activities have been declining for most disciplines since 2010, there has seen a small increase in 2014.