Italy plans €1bn investment into culture

After announcing plans in January to invest €300m (US$325m, £220m) to protect its most important heritage sites in need of restoration, Italy has earmarked €1bn (US$1.16bn, £790m) for cultural investments on projects across the country.

Culture Minister Dario Franceschini called the plans, "the biggest patrimony intervention in Italy's history", saying that the funds would be divided between 33 projects across Italy.

Addressing members of the press, Franceschini said the massive investment would provide "dreams, kept in drawers, which never had the necessary resources", adding that the plans were "proof that this government believes in culture driving growth", a trend not seen in recent years when many of Italy’s historic cultural locations have been in a poor or decaying state thanks to public spending cuts, corruption and bad management.

Among the investments, €40m (US$46m, £31.6m) will go towards the expansion of the Uffizi museum, with the plans including opening up a “secret” corridor connecting the museum to Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio.

The famous ancient city of Pompeii will also receive a €40m investment, which will go on essential maintenance of the Roman-era walls and mosaics, which are falling apart and disintegrating.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Herculaneum, also located in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius and also destroyed with Pompeii in AD 79, will gain €10m (US$11.6m, £7.9m) for repairs and excavation of the site that remains largely unexcavated with around 75 per cent of the site still to be investigated.

€30m (US$34.7m, £23.7m) has also been earmarked for the medieval town of L'Aquila, while €20m (US$23.3m, £15.8m) will go towards restoring Paestum Museum – a major ancient city, famous for its three ancient Greek temples dating from about 600 to 450 BC.

Italy  Culture  Heritage  Dario Franceschini  Herculaneum  Uffizi museum  Pompeii 
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After announcing plans in January to invest €300m (US$325m, £220m) to protect its most important heritage sites in need of restoration, Italy has earmarked €1bn (US$1.16bn, £790m) for cultural investments on projects across the country. Culture Minister Dario Franceschini called the plans, "the biggest patrimony intervention in Italy's history", saying that the funds would be divided between 33 projects across Italy. Addressing members of the press, Franceschini said the massive
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Pompeii will receive a €40m investment as part of the package, which will go on essential maintenance of the Roman-era walls and mosaics, which are falling apart and disintegrating. 
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