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Antonio Manfredi, Director of the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, CAM, in Naples did what most normal people would consider unthinkable: he set fire to one of the Museum’s paintings; a work by French artist Severine Bourguignon valued at thousands of dollars and sadly watched it disintegrate.
Manfredi was quoted as saying “It is logic more often associated with terrorists or trapped and cornered desperados: ‘Meet my demands or another hostage (or in this case work of art) goes the way of the last’” Due to the severe Italian economic crisis and lack of funding for the arts, this privately sponsored institution is on the verge of closing its doors forever.
Manfredi calls this act of desperation a “revolution” and vows to continue burning works of art until he can gain interest from the public as well as drum up government support. His museum houses works by emerging arts from Europe, Africa, and China, and the area where CAM is located was the backdrop for Roberto Saviano’s book Gomorrah.
Projects like CAM were initiated with the hope of taking back and revitalizing a mafia controlled territory, riddled with crime and urban decay. After mailing photos of his burning works to the European Parliament’s culture and education commission, Manfredi has yet to receive a response to his cry for help. And so the burning goes on…
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