In my hometown our local pizzeria is run by a couple of Napolitan gents, whom I’ve often heard lamenting how poorly their countrymen and fellow Campagnians take care of treasures like Pompeii. Dear Italians: please work on this.
Seat of the Milan Provincial Government, Christmas Eve. A little party is ongoing, and the Chief of Personnel is opening a sparkling wine bottle. Unfortunately, the cap violently hits a XVIII century picture decorating the room and damages it. It was just an accident, and the officer is ready to pay for the repairs.
However, the episode is somehow symbolic of the neglect by the Italian Authorities (and citizens ?) of the very rich national cultural heritage.
Pompei is crumbling. Museums are badly managed. Surveillance of prized places and artifacts is lacking at best. The Caserta Royal Palace is in very bad conditions. The Government Offices tasked with protecting heritage, called Superintendencies, are understaffed.
There are exceptions, of course. To protect Venice, the Government is building a mammoth mobile dams systems, which would be the first of its kind in the world. Tycoon Diego Della Valle poured…
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