The articles of the Italian Constitution of 1947 directly referring to cultural matters are Articles 9, 21 and 33 (see also chapter 1.1):
- Article 9: “the Republic promotes the development of culture…and protects the historic and artistic heritage of the Nation”;
- Article 21: “everybody has the right to freely express his own thought through words, writing, and any other means…”; and
- Article 33: “art and science, as well as their teaching, are free”.
On the other hand, among the Articles of the Constitution providing for the creation of the regions, Article 117 gave a very narrow scope to their responsibility in cultural matters, by only limiting the devolution of national functions to “local museums and libraries”.
When the regions were set up, Leg. Decree 112/1972 devolved cultural competencies to the regions according toa strict interpretation of Constitutional Article 117. This resulted in a long, partly successful, but still pending fight by the regions aimed at broadening the severe constitutional limits to their cultural actions.