Controversies Italy

Bring back Baratta

Online petition to reinstate the outgoing chair of the Venice Biennale foundation reaches more than 3,800 signatures

Thousands sign petition supporting Baratta, including this year's Venice Biennale curator, Bice Curiger

VENICE. An online petition to reinstate the outgoing chairman of the Venice Biennale foundation, Paolo Baratta, has reached 3,800 signatures. Among the petition’s supporters are leading art world figures, including Nicholas Serota, the director of Tate, and Bice Curiger, the curator of this year’s biennial.

“In these four years the Biennale increased the international prestige of the Fondazione and was useful in creating a strong relationship with the city and its institutions,” the online petition states. “For this reason we ask the minister of culture, Giancarlo Galan, to maintain the experience of Paolo Baratta as the president of Biennale. It's very important to guarantee the continuity of his work for the city.”

"Even if there were 10,000 signatures, what would that change?” Galan told the local newspaper La Nouva di Venezia earlier this week. “I did not order Paolo Baratta out. His tenure ended; it was long, it lasted eight years. I felt it was useful to change, others have different and suitable skills.”

If the appointment is approved by the council of ministers, Giulio Malgara, a foodstuffs importer who has shown little interest in the cultural sector, will take over on 1 January 2012.

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