After the chaos in Rome yesterday when the Colosseum and the Imperial Fora remained closed for three hours for workers to attend a union meeting, the Italian Government has responded with uncommon rapidity – it’s becoming a habit – and the Culture Minister, Dario Franceschini, announced on Twitter this afternoon that museums and archeological sites will now be classified as essential services.
Un passaggio storico ben oltre i fatti di ieri: musei e luoghi della cultura diventano servizi pubblici essenziali: si applica art. 9 Cost.
— Dario Franceschini (@dariofrance) September 19, 2015
The decree was pushed through at lightning speed to avoid further recurrences which leave a negative impression of the country in the eyes of tourists who are forced to wait hours in a queue or have to strike off a visit from their plans. Article 9 of the Italian Constitution states,
The Republic promotes the development of culture and scientific and technical research. It safeguards landscape and the historical and artistic heritage of the Nation.
To defend this article, cultural sites will now rank alongside hospitals and emergency services.
Italy represents 58% of worldwide fine arts, 70% of environmental and cultural resources in Europe, with 95,000 monuments and churches, over 3000 museums and 2000 archaeological sites.