Minister, Lords of the Institutions,

In a free and democratic country such as Italy, I believe it is right to point out the criticalities of a segment of the bureaucratic system to those who bear the responsibility for it and to those who are inevitably involved in that system because of the role they play, when the problems that arise from that piece of the system, instead of developing artistic and entrepreneurial virtuosity - which is the ultimate purpose for which it is intended -, entangle, entangle and debase them, eventually backfiring on those who seek to contribute to the expansion of opportunities in their own country.

If the petition of principle now dictated is important that it belongs to all citizens, so that each one freely expresses his or her own thoughts, it is even more important that it is taken up by those who, like the writer, enjoy the privilege of having the opportunity to make their voices heard more loudly because thanks to his own work and skills, for over thirty years he has been dealing every day with important, famous and qualified music artists, who entrust him with the task of creating spaces and organising their activities to satisfy people's need to be able to lift their spirits and have direct contact with the music they love. And whom they love even more when they attend the live performances of those characters who are not just notes and voices engraved on vinyl records or other media, nor are they just images in the media, but are real women and men with their art, their grandeur and sometimes even fragile with their weaknesses and preciousness.

Performances by artists, particularly those of contemporary popular music, are to be considered a significant and valuable part of the culture of mankind that, like all human arts, must be protected and preserved. Musicians' concerts, even if they do not resemble a monument or an archaeological site, can nevertheless take on the ideal likeness of a sculpture or a painting, because the images of a famous Artist on a beautifully lit stage, like those of actors in theatres or films, can remain imprinted forever in the imagination of those who are willing to pay to see that performance. Just like going to a museum, theatre or cinema.

This is how Artists basically work, through their artistic performances also live on stages around the world for as long as the world has existed. And this is how those who enable Artists' performances have always worked: the promoters and producers, the stage setters and organisers, from the  engineers responsible for the safety of the audience right down to the worker who closes the door of the last train to leave, when the show has been over for hours and even the last of the spectators has quietly reached home after enjoying the show.

In these premises, Gentlemen, is encapsulated the bitterness that the writer has had to endure over the past few days during the preparation and after the staging of a major event-concert in the city of Naples, in the marvellous historic Piazza del Plebiscito.

The occasion was important because a major international music star would be performing,  American but of Italian origin from the South, who for the first time, after hundreds of concerts all over the world, had the desire and pleasure to sing and play outdoors in the places of his ancestors and, therefore, among his original people. The concert was beautiful, as is evident from the first to the last reviews in the media. The artist enchanted the spectators in the beautiful setting of the Plebiscito and the City, without respite despite the fact that the Piazza was not full.

Yet the city's Superintendent of Cultural Assets felt the need to externalize his ill-concealed protagonism by declaring to the newspapers, the day after the concert, that he, although pleased with the artistic performance, was convinced that the Piazza should be left free to the public. This was in the light of his personal thesis that the City of Naples, with no money in the till, should never have granted the use of the Piazza without payment for paid events of a private nature. The official also stated that both the restrictive measures imposed on the organisers - such as leaving aisles in the Piazza passable by the public and keeping the barriers low and the fencing gates unbolted - and the future use of the Piazza itself no longer to be used for events against payment should be understood in this sense. This was so that, according to him, the constant possibility of enjoying the view of the Square by anyone at any time would not be precluded. In conclusion, he also said, that one should do as Ferdinand of Bourbon did at the time, who paid the best architects out of his own pocket for the staging of shows, giving the people the chance to drink in culture, even if he then put the rich and the nobles sitting in the front. Finally, the official concluded, it had to be considered that, in his opinion, a paid concert is not a cultural event.

The response, given at a specially convened press conference, was vehement first and foremost to restore certain truths of the facts: Piazza del Plebiscito was granted for the staging of an event-concert that was certainly popular in character but also of cultural stature; the measures adopted by the superintendent were belated with respect to the authorisation-granting measure issued by the Mayor of Naples more than six months earlier; the official's personal theories cannot, by virtue of institutional duty and in the absence of objective risks to the safety of artistic assets, lead to the motu proprio claim of public spaces managed by the municipal administration, nor can they impose a running change in pre-established rules; the entrepreneur - organiser has accepted the risk on the basis of the trust placed in the measures rendered ex ante and not ex post; the entrepreneurial purpose does not belong to the assessments of an official of the State who holds that role for reasons of different and specific competence in relation to the protection of artistic heritage, and which should never come into conflict with any manifestation of objective cultural recognition.

 Moreover, the intention behind the decision to hold a unique event in southern Italy was also declaredly to enhance the beauty and history of the city of Naples and its wonderful places, and this intention has certainly been achieved over the past few months, considering the publicity and publicity of the concert and the concert venue. Added to this is the fact that every event of this kind naturally entails the involvement of a not inconsiderable local labour and participation inducement, especially in an economic period of social crisis.

Lastly, the positive message launched tout court by the event is certainly the most important fact, if we consider the media prominence obtained by the event's perfect success, which demonstrated that even in the south of Italy there are organisational skills and competences such as to make any other opportunity for this part of Italy, usually neglected by large organisations that prefer other, less difficult areas of the country, feasible.

Fortunately, the words pronounced on stage by the artist, who proudly declared himself a Man of the South, certainly left a much more incisive impression of the qualities of the City of Naples than those of those who would institutionally be in charge of protecting them.

The hope is that this letter will strike the right chords to resolve unnecessary conflicts and recreate the harmony broken by misrepresentations and divisions.

I like to close this mine with the thought that cultural and musical events nourish the memory of human beings and feed their future.

With all cordiality.

Milan, 27 May 2013

Claudio Trotta - Barley Arts Promotion since 1979