Framework Programme Agreement for the rebuilding of Città della Scienza signed by Italian Prime Minister

On August 14, 2014, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi signed the Framework Programme Agreement for the rebuilding of Città della Scienza’s Science Centre, the first hands-on scientific museum in Italy destroyed by an arson on March 4, 2013. “We know the extraordinary beauty of this place, the meaning it has, and the commitment that we have taken today is to rebuild it more beautiful than before, if possible. It will not be easy, because it was already beautiful”: these were the words Mr Renzi addressed to Vittorio Silvestrini, President of Città della Scienza, during the press conference held in the Newton Hall of Città della Scienza’s Conference Centre.

The Science Centre’s rebuilding is a part of a wider process of requalification of Bagnoli, a former industrial area in the western side of Naples. During the ceremony, a memorandum of understanding for the reclaim of Bagnoli’s area was also signed. Together with Mr Renzi, the ceremony was attended also by Premier’s Undersecretary Graziano Delrio, the Minister of Environment Gian Luca Galletti, the Minister of Welfare Giuliano Poletti, the President of Campania Region Stefano Caldoro, the Major of Naples Luigi De Magistris and the Vicepresident of the Province of Naples Ciro Alfano.

In his speech, Mr Renzi also said: “The public investment of 34 million for the rebuilding of Città della Scienza’s Museum (in addition to the 27 million by Fondazione IDIS) aims to demonstrate that, as a government and as a State, we believe in Naples and in Città della Scienza as opportunities of economic growth. Culture, education, research and the school are the real factors of country’s economic growth. Italy’s competitiveness can be credible only if we will be able to start from the human capital, of which Città della Scienza is a symbol”.

The signature of the agreement has also offered a clear response to the national and international scientific community, who has strongly advocated the immediate rebuilding of the Science Centre.

Thanks to this act, both symbolic and tangible, it will be possible to return to Naples and its citizens and children an important common good: an open and shared place for the dissemination of scientific culture that, with its exhibits, interactive exhibitions and educational workshops, still continues to bring science to adults and children. Professor Silvestrini said: “The words of President Renzi, but especially the signature of the agreement, show that, when Italy believes in the future, even the mountains can be moved. This is a suffered result of an ability to listen and to build bridges between different ideas. Of which I wish to thank the Mayor of Naples, Mr De Magistris, and President Caldoro. We have reached this result in months of work, thanks to the active contribution of the Vice-President of the Province of Naples, Mr Ciro Alfano, the Deputy Mayor Mr Tommaso Sodano and the Vice-President of the Campania Region, Mr Guido Trombetti. We have shown that the institutions and the forces of democracy do not retreat in front of the crime, and that culture is a weapon against injustice and lawlessness. I hope that soon we can know the faces of masterminds and perpetrators of the horrendous crime perpetrated against culture and against Città della Scienza. I want to remind that, in addition to the institutions, the real authors of the renaissance of Città della Scienza are the citizens of Naples, the national and international scientific community, the citizens’ committees, the schools, the industrial and research system, but especially our children. For them we will rebuild Città della Scienza and with them we will work for the redemption of Naples and of our country”.

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