Several important figures in Italian cultural life, including Monica Bellucci and Luca De Filippo, gathered in the Quirinale Palace in Rome, the official residence of the President of the Italian Republic, for the Vittorio De Sica award ceremony, a prize for the cinema and the arts.
Carla Fracci was unique in receiving a standing ovation, and proclaimed herself deeply saddened by the current state of the arts after the recent heavy goverment cuts in subsidy.
The British conductor Antonio Pappano, who is of Italian parentage, is the music director of the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome.
Giorgio Napolitano, Italy's president, speaking to all the artists present said:
I know what is nagging you and your protest requires special consideration. We have a duty to preserve our cultural heritage that has been handed down to us.”
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.