Politics deals little with culture. And it also shows in the election programs

Politics deals little with culture. And it also shows in the election programs

Culture has never been a major topic in the election. And if it is not under normal conditions, let alone in an atypical electoral campaign like this one, at a time of clear socio-economic crisis between the post-pandemic recovery and the energy consequences of the Russian war in Ukraine. Yet, for a country that, like Italy, has a source of wealth in its artistic and cultural heritage that very few other countries in the world can boast, culture deserves to be a staple in any vision of the future.

Especially if we consider the alarming data on the consumption of culture in Italy in recent years. According to Istat data, cultural participation - which had already decreased from 35.1% to 29.8% between 2019 and 2020 - in 2021 collapsed to 8.3%, a figure undoubtedly inflated by the pandemic, but all the more worrying. The figures have also been declining for years with regard to cinema, museums, theaters and musical events. During the pandemic, people read a few more books, but even now only 22.9% - just over one in five - say they read more than four books a year. Let's see how the various parties intend to intervene on the issue.

Lega Fratelli D'Italia 5 Star Movement Democratic Party Italia Viva - Action Forza Italia PiĆ¹ Europa Italian Left - Greens Possible Unione Popolare Italexit ItsArt, the Italian Netflix of culture, was just a bad idea of the balance sheet of 2021, first year of activity: 7.5 million losses. The platform wanted by Minister Franceschini is in a dead end. A remake of the flop of Verybello


The party led by Matteo Salvini dedicates six pages of its articulated electoral program to the theme. The Italian cultural heritage is defined as "an identity factor" of the country, which has been "too often depraved" by the state. "Cultural heritage remains trapped within a public mechanism that limits its development, since public investment is always less effective in economic terms than private one, while the bureaucracy of cultural heritage is the last reduction of a syndicalism outside time ”, is what we read in the text.

Therefore, the party's program aims to "restore centrality to individuals and small communities over the preponderance of the state". There is talk of "supporting the diffusion of works of art in the territories considered less attractive from a tourist point of view, also through the loan of artistic works and archaeological finds currently present in the deposits of large museums and not accessible to the public" and to develop networks of villages to make them "liveable for the establishment of creative businesses".

There is also mention of increasing accessibility to works of art by making them usable also by people with motor disabilities and of simplifying "the authorization procedures" concerning the protection of the works. We then talk about the protection of cinemas through a tax credit for audiovisuals, the inclusion of audiovisuals as a subject of study in schools, strengthening the Unesco Service to "support the new candidates to be included in the list of material and intangible heritage of the Humanity ". Another interesting proposal is the digitization of cultural heritage through the use of NFT and the metaverse. Many proposals of various types. Few information on implementation and funding.

Brothers of Italy

The party led by Giorgia Meloni dedicates chapter 13 of its electoral program, Culture and beauty, our Renaissance. The introduction reaffirms how our country is known worldwide as "the nation of art and culture, as the homeland of beauty". Therefore, the prerogative is to "protect and enhance the immense heritage of which we are heirs". In this sense, the proposals put in place are different. There is talk of the "Protection of professionals in the cultural sector and private entities that deal with the management of public or private assets" and the introduction of the "tax deduction of individual cultural consumption". We talk about digital innovation of cultural heritage to make them usable also through multimedia platforms. The proposal for the "redevelopment of suburbs and villages also through street art and the enhancement of the immense heritage preserved in deposits and museums and currently not usable" is interesting. Here too, many proposals, but little detailed information on implementation and funding.

Movimento 5 Stelle

The synthetic electoral program of the party led by Giuseppe Conte, who talks about it in the paragraph On the side of tourism: to enhance our cultural heritage, is rather meager on the subject and artistic. There is talk of a "public recruitment plan to overcome the serious under-dimensioning of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and its peripheral institutions", of a "brake on outsourcing and contrasting the distorted use of volunteering and cultural workers" and of "measures of protection and enhancement of the Italian cultural heritage ". Absent figures on investments to be made.

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Democratic Party

In the electoral program of the party led by Enrico Letta, the theme it is mentioned rather sporadically. In the section dedicated to rights and citizenship, we talk about investments in sport and culture "as tools capable of creating openness, overcoming gender stereotypes, shared wellbeing, new spaces for socializing and new opportunities for personal fulfillment". There is talk of reiterating “the role and function of the public dimension of culture, redefining new and virtuous forms of private involvement, assessing the implications and repercussions that the entrepreneurial approach has on cultural management”. Culture is then cited as a tool against the mafia, because - as Giovanni Falcone says - "the mafia fears culture", and of culture as a space for "emancipation, an instrument of sociality and an opportunity for personal growth, contrast to illegality ". We then talk about the "complete digitization of cultural heritage" and the enhancement of the Art Bonus. No data on funding are mentioned.

Italy Viva-Action

There are several proposals in the joint program of the movements led respectively by Matteo Renzi and Carlo Calenda, who speak about them in the chapter entitled Culture, tourism and sport. In the introduction, it is reiterated that Italy "is the penultimate country in the EU for participation and cultural activities" despite the fact that Italy has in its culture "the true roots of Western civilization". Therefore, there is talk of "doubling every donation for culture made by private individuals with public funds", of "facilitating access to places of culture through a booklet with 10 free admissions" based on income, "sponsoring twinning between schools and institutes cultural ", allow all under 25 to go and visit Rome for free (without specifying however which trip is up to the Romans), finance bookstores and print media and support the film and audiovisual sector through the tax credit mechanism. Attention is also paid to young people, since there is talk of "encouraging the entry of young people into the world of cultural work through a policy of tax deductions for the under 40" and of establishing a single fund that collects all the existing funding chapters and promotes cultural initiatives for young people. It is an articulated and varied program, as well as supported by data. However, there are no estimates on the necessary funding.

Forza Italia

The electoral program of the party led by Silvio Berlusconi is rather schematic and vague on the subject. The proposals are many, and there are several potentially interesting ones, but the lack of details makes it rather complex to evaluate them. There is talk of "commitment and protection of the Italian artistic-cultural historical-landscape heritage", of "enhancement of the public cultural heritage", of simplifying the art market and de-taxing the organization of artistic and cultural shows and events. Overall, little stuff.

More Europe

The issue is also marginal in the electoral program of the party led by Emma Bonino. It is explicitly mentioned only in point number 24 of the first chapter, dedicated to training and work. Here, the goal is to "encourage the entrustment of the management of cultural sites also to private entities" to reduce public spending, and to achieve "greater attractiveness and protection of cultural heritage, especially for areas currently abandoned" through example digital technologies. Also in the same paragraph, it is proposed to establish a system of "verification of the work of the management of cultural heritage" through the analysis of data on the turnout, investment reports and satisfaction questionnaires for employees and visitors. Overall, not much.

Italian Left-Verdi

In the joint electoral program of the parties led, respectively, by Nicola Fratoianni and Angelo Bonelli, the theme appears several times. In the section dedicated to work, we read that "special attention must be paid to the protection of female workers, workers of the bodies promoting culture and entertainment". In the section dedicated to universities and research, we talk about investments in research, training and culture. Overall, the proposals are few and rather vague.


The party led by Giuseppe Civati ​​does not dedicate an ad hoc section of its electoral program to the issue. The theme is mentioned sporadically in some sections, but in a rather marginal way. For example, in the section dedicated to school, it is reiterated that "study and culture must be open to everyone and everyone". Overall, it is clear that culture does not have a priority role.

Popular union

The electoral program of the movement led by the ex-mayor of Naples Luigi De Magistris, who mentions it in the fifth chapter, entitled “Restoring dignity to education and investing in research and culture ". In fact, the only slightly more concrete proposal in this section is to introduce" constraints on the change of intended use of all places of culture "and to recognize the" rights of workers from all sectors of cultural and artistic goods and production ", with related social safety nets, occupational diseases, accidents at work, maternity, right to retirement. The topic is then also mentioned in chapter 9," Rebuilding our industry by favoring a new development model. "Point number 4 of this section says that" investment in culture must reach at least 1% of GDP. " and the works are not the big companies but the state.


The movement led by Gianluigi Paragone dedicates a paragraph to the topic, tackling it in a rather vague way. There is talk of giving centrality to art, of protecting and enhancing the Italian cultural heritage and passing it on to future generations. Overall, very little.

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