Compared with the strong boost to overall public cultural expenditure in the past two decades – it doubled in the 1990s, after having more than doubled in the 1980s in nominal terms: see Rapporti sull’ Economia della Cultura, op.cit. (even if data from different sources are not exactly comparable) – there has been a very substantial downturn in cultural funding in the 2000s.
According to Istat / COFOG data, the total amount of public cultural expenditure in 2014 (final expenditure, by all levels of government and all ministries and administrative units involved) – amounted to 5 464 million EUR. Compared with the 6 099 million spent in 2001, cuts in public cultural expenditure have reached 11.5% in nominal terms in the last fourteen years: which means that the decrease has actually been much more dramatic taking inflation into account.
Consequently, between 2001 and 2014 all the other indicators went down: expenditure per capita for the 60.6 million Italian inhabitants decreased from 99 to 90 EUR, the ratio on GDP from 0.46 to 0.35 % and, even more, the ratio on public expenditure – an indicator of the government’s willingness to pay for culture, was hit by 1/3: from 0.99 to 0.66.