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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Culture can be a weapon

What a novel idea!

From Time Magazine
Italy’s Renzi vows to fight terrorism threat with culture

James Politi in Rome

Matteo Renzi has come up with what may seem a uniquely Italian solution to
the security threat gripping Europe: to fight terrorism with culture.

The 40-year old Italian prime minister on Tuesday laid out plans for €2bn in
new spending in response to the November 13 attacks in Paris, amid growing
concerns that Italy could be a terrorist target. While €1bn would be used
for security and defence purposes, another €1bn would pay for cultural

This includes more money for disenfranchised neighbourhoods on the outskirts
of big cities, where there are often clashes between Italians and
immigrants, but also a €500 bonus for every 18-year old to spend at
theatres, concerts and museums. The idea, according to Mr Renzi, is to
reinforce their sense of being guardians of Italy’s vast cultural heritage.

“What happened in Paris signalled a step-up in the cultural battle that we
are living,” Mr Renzi said at a speech at the Capitoline Museum in Rome.
“They imagine terror, we answer with culture. They destroy statues, we love
art. They destroy books, we are the country of libraries.”

Mr Renzi is due to meet François Hollande, French president, in Paris on
Thursday, and Joe Biden, US vice-president, on Friday, to discuss the
response to the terror attacks. “An international coalition requires respect
for international law and a strategic vision for the future of the affected
territories,” he said.

A poll released by Piepoli this week showed that 60 per cent of Italians are
against joining France and Russia in pursuing military action against Isis
in Syria.

Yes, I know that the famous ruin (pictured) is not a library!  But I thought it might be a comment ....

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