Riccardo Villari, President of Città della Scienza, recalls what had been accomplished in recent months to begin the rebuilding of the Museum
In recent months, there have been many positive signs regarding the reconstruction of the new museum. Where are we? Here, can we give some positive news regarding the revival of the Science Center?
We started with a hostility in my biased opinion of the past municipal administration, which in fact stopped everything in the last ten years. There was an ideological approach to problems rather than meritocracy, so nothing was done in the end. With the arrival of Gaetano Manfredi, the new mayor and government commissioner, with Minister Mara Carvagna and President Vincenzo de Luca (assuming that had it not been for the support of the Campania region, the survival of the Idis would have been jeopardized), the synergy between the institutions was essential. We made proposals, discussed the merits with all interlocutors and began work on finding a solution, as well as resolving a series of disagreements. We entered into the merits, the site identified in the Praru (Environmental Rehabilitation and Urban Regeneration Program) for the new museum was technically and functionally wrong, because it was not connected to the central body of the Città della Scienza, on land still to be restored. , which means that the financial availability of more than 40 million plus the other 20 available on European money that we had to spend and commit by December 31 of this year, we would have lost. With the new management we were able to obtain an effective and necessary modification of the site, defining the area of the existing car park for reconstruction. So this change had a number of consequences. In the last meeting with all the heroes of the control room, the aforementioned institutions, Invitalia, and the implementing subjects, we worked towards this. Thus, there is a new site and a winning project in the international tender. We asked the designers to modify it for the new destination (this way we also resolve a conflict we inherited). At the services conference with all stakeholders – in about a month and a half – we should have a building address. At this point we will be able to tender the reconstruction. It is a relevant objective fact: after 10 years the physical reconstruction of the new museum must finally begin. So at this point a new impetus will be given, but I would like to assess the importance of the path taken so far. All this should be a clear indication of how much institutions believe in the city of science and its future. We succeeded: and I say ‘we’ because governance is committed along with employees with the incentive they have always given us to do more, and also to find what we have inherited. Today we can say: we found a catastrophic situation, 20 million debts and let’s be clear, here there was also insurance compensation after the fire in the amount of 15 million. A number that we should add today to the other resources for reconstruction that no longer exist. Part of this money was put into current spending and only a small part into debt. So whoever took so much in the criticism would have done his best in time to ask the old administration the question… which wasn’t “What happened to the City of Science?” But “what happened to those resources from Città della Scienza and how were they used? Today we are making progress and we are very happy that the institutions have supported us in this effort. We all believe that this last mile can be covered with satisfaction to carry out the reconstruction of the new museum.”
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