Appointments Italy

Unpopular choice for Biennale president withdraws

Malgara’s fortunes fall along with his chief supporter, ousted prime minister Silvio Berlusconi

Giulio Malgara

Venice. Giulio Malgara, 73, the foodstuffs concessionary appointed on 6 October to replace Paolo Baratta, 72, as president of the Venice Biennale has withdrawn his candidature, the Italian minister of culture, Giancarlo Galan, announced on 10 November.

A petition in support of Baratta, organised by the newspaper La Nuova Venezia, collected more than 3,800 signature, including those of Tate director Nicholas Serota and Biennale curator Bice Curiger, while a vote in the cultural commission of the ministry of culture split 23:23 over the appointment.

The real reason, though, for Malgara’s withdrawal is the fall of his chief supporter, prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Baratta’s mandate ends on 18 December and he may be reappointed, but his name is also being mentioned as a possible minister of culture in the new government.

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