LifestyleFlorence director causes a stir, calls the city a 'prostitute' due to uncontrolled tourism

Florence director causes a stir, calls the city a 'prostitute' due to uncontrolled tourism

Florence is very popular among tourists.
Florence is very popular among tourists.
Images source: © Getty Images | Photographer: Julian Elliott
2:55 AM EST, January 30, 2024

Florence serves as the capital of Tuscany and is a well-known tourist hotspot in Italy. The Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral is renowned worldwide as a symbol of this city, and its towering dome can be seen from nearly every corner of the town. Despite this, the throngs of tourists who surge into the city yearly are a point of contention for many Italians.

Labeling Florence's tourism as a "prostitute"

The director of the Academy Gallery, where Michelangelo's famed Statue of David is preserved, Cecilie Hollberg, voiced her grievances. This German art historian warned: Once the city becomes a prostitute, it's challenging to revert it back to a virgin state. (...) Hollberg cautions that if the influx of tourists isn't managed soon, it may entirely consume the city's unique charm.

Alessia Bettini, the Deputy Mayor of Florence, blustered at these remarks, calling them "outrageous".

-Characterizing Florence in such a derogatory way is the most severe insult to come from someone holding such an important institutional capacity. Does this imply that Florence's residents are offspring of an immoral entity, and that the tourists are its clientele?- the deputy mayor questioned.

Dario Nardella, another city official, also condemned the remarks, stating that they were "downright offensive to all Florentines".

Investigating Potential Consequences

Gennaro Sangiuliano, the Italian Minister of Culture, echoed the disbelief felt by many. - Deriding Florence is akin to an attack on all of Italy and wounds our national pride - he argued, emphasizing that a state representative like a museum director should refrain from such inappropriate language.

The Minister also stated he would explore possible actions regarding this situation. He summarily dismissed the director's defense and her insistence that her love for Florence still remains.

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