Editoriale

Does arts and culture have value? And which is it?

di Mercedes Giovinazzo

Does arts and culture have value? And which is it?

Should art be considered as a luxury and should artworks be considered as luxury goods? And, at the other end of the spectrum, should popular culture be understood as a scarce – and, therefore, costly – good? In general, we shy away from using the terms “goods and services” when applied to the arts and culture. Nevertheless, today, we might want to reconsider this perception: is it not only an expression of the ill-conceived idea that art and culture have a stand-alone signification in society and that they have a value that, per se, justifies their existence and recognition? Before the Romantic revolution no one would have dared not consider the artworks as goods and the work of artists as services. Rather, artists were considered as professionals who carried out a very specific task the result of which was given recognition – or not – by society thus directly establishing its value. Furthermore, many of the masterpieces that have survived until today are the result of, also, a taste for betting on this or that artist’s work. This down-to-earth notion has, in the last two centuries, been disrupted in favor of an approach by which artists and their work is understood as, primarily, the expression of their creative power and the fruit of a tormented existential process with a value of its own, irrespective of its recognition and acknowledgement by society.

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Gestire cultura

Taxation, a driver for the Art Market

di Federico Solfaroli Camillocci

The Italian art market grows poorly and, in any case, more slowly than the world market. One of the reasons for this stagnation is undoubtedly the presence of an anachronistic tax legislation that seems to respond to mere revenue logics. By contrast, an equal and forward-looking tax system of the art market could be instrumental in making a significant contribution to circulating works of art and offering new growth opportunities. Tax policies may be an effective instrument to support the cultural activities of individuals or entities by means of incentives and a favourable tax regime. If the main purpose of a tax system is to earn revenues, this does not prevent the governments from lawfully pursuing objectives not having a strictly fiscal character but rather a social or an economic nature at the same time. The tax regime of the art market gives origin to different issues in accordance with the diversified nature of acts and situations (purchases, supplies or possession of the works of art) taken into consideration by the legislator as well as with the legal form of the interested parties (natural or legal persons, VAT taxpayers or not, and so on). The main issues concern VAT, inheritance tax and income taxation.

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Metropolis

L’Ososphère: Popular Music, Temporary Uses and Planning in Strasbourg France

di Giacomo Bottà

This article focuses on the temporary activation via popular music of former industrial buildings awaiting redevelopment in Strasbourg, France. The renting out of lucrative areas for certain periods of time, either for continuous use or one-off events, to cultural entrepreneurs, artists, NGOs and small businesses is increasing. In relation to popular music, temporary uses work in relation to one-time live events and yearly festivals attracting crowds to former industrial areas, the creation of affordable rents for rehearsal spaces, studios and clubs, and other experimental uses. These processes increasingly develop durable effects in cities, both on the spatial and on the socio-cultural level. This article analyses in particular Les Nuits électroniques de l’Ososphère festival, which has taken place in Strasbourg France since 1997.

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