Ship To Sail On “Made In Italy” Globe Tour For Showcasing National Identity
A tall ship named after the famed Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci is poised to set sail on a two-year journey to promote the country’s cuisine and wine as a symbol of national identity, as part of Italy’s conservative government’s objective.
The ship, built in 1930 and deemed “the most beautiful ship in the world” by fans, will set sail on July 1. “The armed forces are in the field to protect Italian cultural and economic heritage,” Defense Minister Guido Crosetto said.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni was escorted by several senior ministers to a trade show for Italian wine held in Verona last week, where they posed for photographs while enjoying a beverage she described as not only an economic phenomenon but also “a fundamental part of our identity.” This incident demonstrated her government’s increasingly nationalistic tendencies.
Furthermore, Agriculture and Food Sovereignty Minister Francesco Lollobrigida recently approved a law that seeks to prohibit food grown in laboratories, including artificial meat, on the grounds that it does not guarantee quality or well-being and does not protect culture and tradition.
Food has long been employed as a symbol of cultural identity by Italy’s rightwing parties, with English phrases like “smart-working,” “manager,” and “babysitting” apparently viewed as pollutants by Meloni’s Brothers of Italy deputy Fabio Rampelli. (with neofascist roots).
As a result, he has suggested a new law that will penalise anyone who overuses English terminology up to €100,000 (£88,000).
Critics claim this harkens back to Benito Mussolini’s fascist regime’s “linguistic reclamation” initiative, which attempted to defend the Italian language.
Despite this, Professor Emiliana De Blasio of Luiss University believes the emphasis on “brand Italy” is more of an ideological attitude than a deliberate attempt to block progress: “I just see a lot of communication and little substance,” she says.
“Promoting Italy around the world is essential,” said Professor Sofia Ventura of the University of Bologna, “but there are people surrounding Meloni who have this obsession with Italianness, relating back to a world where there is a strong sense of rivalry.”
Reference: The Guardian, IScanInfo