Milan’s prestigious La Scala opera house is under fire over negotiations to add none other than Saudi Arabia’s culture minister as a new board member, in a plan that was slammed as being financially motivated and “unscrupulous.”
The prospect of a member of the Saudi royal family sitting on the board of directors of one of Italy’s top theatres has caused such a stir that it was brought up in parliament, with Maurizio Gasparri, a member of the Forza Italia party saying that it could tarnish the opera house’s image. “Our government also has the duty of defending the history and identity of La Scala,” he said. Gasparri also asked Italy’s Culture Minister Alberto Bonisoli to clarify the “assessment of the government” on the issue.
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