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FUNDING Italy

Three days of mobilization against culture cuts

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This weekend will see a national mobilization against the cuts to culture and entertainment, with events held in movie theatres, theatres and all art centers in Italy. Promoted by AGIA, ANCI, UPI, Regional Conference and FAI, the initiative will run March 26-28. It is being held as an informational campaign to awaken public opinion to the very serious risks the sector (which includes cinema, the theatre, music and dance) is running, with the distribution of flyers and leaflets, and screenings in all Italian cinemas of the commercial "Divieto di cultura" (“No Culture Allowed”), made for the occasion.

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The goal, explains Paolo Protti, president of AGIS (Italian General Association of Entertainment), is "to make people understand that in this time of unprecedented crisis, not only are cultural offerings in danger of being lost, but jobs and overall production".

According to data from events organizers, faced with a 30% drop in public funds in five years (the Ministry of Culture’s budget dropped last year by 14.6%, from €1.7bn to €1.46bn) and of a FUS (Entertainment Industry Fund) reduced to a historic minimum (€231m in 2011, almost half of what it was in 2010), vital structures such as Cinecittà Luce (see news) risk closure. The Venice Film Festival will also suffer, and approximately 220,000 jobs could be lost.

The three days are part of a wider programme of initiatives against the cuts, which begins today in Rome with a demonstration to support the dance sector (in front of the Chamber of Deputies), a sit-in Thursday before the Ministry of Economy and a black-out of theatres on Friday.

The mobilization will end March 28 in Turin with a public discussion at the Teatro Regio.

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(Translated from Italian)

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