The Cultural Heritage Report


Holistic look during C-19 at the changing nature of our cities and the culture that surrounds it.

Made by: Patrizia Iorio

Kauffman foundation have long emphasized a less obvious implication: that if an economy wants new jobs, it needs to foster the creation of new firms.

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Pictures side by side: Jacob Berghoef, Abstract, Minimalist and Impressionist Fine Art Photography, Denmark 2020. + San Francisco, CA by SKII TRAVEL copyright.

Many artists are participating in a global crowd-sourced project Great Pause Project where anyone in the world is invited to share written responses and photos on an online platform, to document and archive the pandemic experience. The hope is to learn lessons and gain insights that might otherwise be lost, and to create a tangible, collaborative record to craft the story of this time.

Crowd-sourced initiatives that goes from Window Effect, evocative sections of daily experience to COVID-19 Photo Diary, photograph collections beyond the glass windows, out into the neighborhoods. 

If a changed artistic experience is reaffirmed today through global sharing, This is not the case for classical art and the enjoyment of cultural heritage. 
Like an equation, Art means Civilizationwhich in turn means Hope.

How can we reimagine the future of museums and monumental sites without the immersion of material and physical experience? Excluding the didactic and promotional purposes of digitization, we certainly cannot think that this is the natural evolution of our response.

During the lockdown, we witnessed the psychological demolition of our collective materials goods. Our beloved and contradicted polis, emblematic symbols of social and political aggregation, assaulted by international chronicles with blows of incessant derogatory and oppresive serial attacks. Making them even more disturbing than they were.

Except forget quickly for the lucky ones, that sense of anguish, just a few months later for the saving summer holidays. So after Lockdown we rediscovered everywhere the proximity vacations imposed by the pandemic forthe acclaimed benefit of the local cultural heritage, especially archeological and landscape sites, but with little consolation for the public and private coffers of museums and monuments.

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Picture: Colosseum Archeologic Park | Rome, Aug 2020


-​ Turin Egyptian Museum reopened from June 2 that had put on ​​line 7 hours of recorded walks, reduced attendance by two-​​​thirds, from 3000 to 1000 daily. 

-​ Uffizi, over 3000 per day exceptionally during the past week ​​​ends distributed also on Boboli Gardens, Gallerie dell’Accademia and Palazzo Pitti, against 1300 daily. Increases of 27% young visitors, effects of visiting famous influencers.​

- Pantheon of Rome, the most visited Italian cultural site of 2019. Over nine million visitors, free tickets.

- ​Colosseum Archeologic Park, the most visited monument ​​​in the world for the second consecutive year, by the data ​​​​relating to tourist bookings on TripAdvisorin 2019. 1300 ​​​​entrances per day against 20 thousand pre covid. 

If some cultural institutions, such as US libraries, have been able to quickly reinvent new functions for the community, in close collaboration with local service agencies, so it could also be for other types of cultural heritage.

By favoring the creation of a wider system network, which reports, monitors and controls all related categories in a given urban concentration. From show and entertainment industry to the suppliers of goods and services, restaurateurs and hoteliers, from transport companies to local administrators. Nothing should be left to chance.

City of art numbers

Tourism industry on its knees, with colossal damage to the economy of most European cities of art. According to Assoturismo estimates, there are at least 4.2 million fewer visitors for the city of Rome in the summer quarter alone.

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picture: Pegghy Guggenheim Collection, Venice Aug 20

Venice and its lagoon, after the pestilences that history recalls, lost 3/4 of its citizenship. There is a lack of 120 thousand euros of income, including the missed tourist taxes. World Heritage Site which, like all places of art, feeds on visitors. 

No more ocean crowds and predators, but programmed and above all aware tourist flows. Another opportune rethinking no less obvious to give breath to the micro economy, especially in the absence of serious government interventions, would be the self-leveling of rental costs. Both for commercial destinations and for residential use.

Integrated planning of the tourist-cultural offer becomes imperative, which embraces categories and subjects involved, capable of programming not only daily users and temporal flows, but also of managing and coordinating all interconnected activities. 

It was necessary to wait for C-19 to introduce a brake on profit looting, such as the introduction of mandatory booking via App based on tourist taxes proportional to frequency, timing and urgency. 

Smart measures which, however, will not ban the large fleet companies, mainly responsible for the erosion of the foundations of the precarious urban fabric, but which should at least lead us out of this crisis. Because if we know how to seize this opportunity, as Pope Francis said, "we can get out of this crisis either worse or better”.

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Pictures 1-2 side by side: Piazza San Pietro | Vaticano Aug 20

The apparently emptied cities thus revealed their most authentic soul. As in a take of shots from above that cleans and embellishes, transpires in its essence the harmonic Vitruvian triad, firmitas, utilitas, venustas,of ideal city applied to our realities, as vital organisms founded by men, for men.

Pandemic as a new normal. We implement the change desired by many and postponed too much through a necessary and urgent collective reworking of uses and customs of different social habits. 

Taking inspiration from mother nature, one of the strategies of the animal world, the rule of the porcupine, can come to our rescue. Cute and dangerous pet that can suggest how to exchange heat even remotely without getting hurt.

Profound ethical-cultural revolution involving substantial ideological rethinking and systemic structural changes. The artistic fruition in its various forms is one of these and represents a fundamental aspect of our experience. 

Therefore if the cool attractions of well-known artistic directors to call turnout vanish with their own views, priority remains the implementation of radical structural reforms. 

To guarantee solid models of work management in the tourist-cultural sector no longer focused on contractual precariousness and performance depreciation, but rather able to stabilize and equally validate all workers. 

Reform of the school system in particular with regard to Italy, which invests in innovation and research, professionalism and merit, which reintroduces and enhances the teachings of history and artistic disciplines in high schools.

“Most young people have grown up in a sort of permanent present, in which they lack any kind of organic relationship with the historical past of the time in which they live”.

The task of historians is to remember what others forget, Eric Hobsbawm. Depriving young people of the essential means of reading historical reality means depriving them of the possibility of choosing and determining their future.

The story that for Cicero was Historia Magistra Vitae, constitutes the present in some way already experienced, analyzed and lived: without it, we would be blind without guidance.

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Pictures 1-2 side by side: Louvre Museum, Paris Aug 20

But our cities of any geographical coordinates, excluding other disasters, as long as they are populated, are and will always be there to welcome and protect us. It is up to us to conserve and protect them, adapt and integrate them. Operation certainly made more complex by the pandemic and become therefore new design subject to which all planning and design experts are working.

Patrizia Iorio

PATRIZIA IORIO born in Benevento and lives in Turin (Italy), is registered architect, high school’s teacher and passionate cyclist. After working among research institu- tes and local authorities, choosing the freelance profession, dedicate herself to inve- stigating holistic approach that make our cities and communities more livable and sustainable.

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