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Scalfari, Eugenio

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La Repubblica - Italy | 11/11/2008

Saving culture: civic duty number one

In the run-up to the Cultural Asset Alarm conference that will take place in Rome, Eugenio Scalfari, founder of the newspaper La Repubblica, calls on Italians not to let control over the country's cultural assets be taken from the public domain: "Culture runs the risk of becoming the weakest link in the chain and falling victim to the current financial crisis. Culture and research are seen as optional, and the planned budget cuts will fall above all in these areas. Yet what people fail to recognise here is that government spending in these areas is an investment, not an expenditure. The appraisal and preservation of our cultural assets has a direct effect on our economy because they are linked to tourism, one of our major sources of income. ... And federalism will only worsen the cultural devastation as long as public opinion fails to proclaim saving our culture civic duty number one."

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