Italian Minister of Culture Sandro Bondi Wins Confidence Vote

One of the most polarizing figures in the current government, he will stay in his post after a 314-292 vote tally that fell along party lines.

ROME – Italian Minister of Culture Sandro Bondi, one of the most polarizing figures in the current government, will stay on the job after winning a confidence vote in the Italian parliament Wednesday in a tally that mostly broke along party lines.
When the votes were counted 314 parliamentarians thought Bondi should stay on the job and 292 voted that he should leave. The 22-vote margin is much larger than the three-vote difference that allowed Italian Prime Minister and media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi to hold onto power in a similar vote in December.
Bondi, a long-time Berlusconi ally, was the subject of the confidence vote because of his handling of his ministry’s budget in relation to the maintenance of historical sites. The topic came to light last year after the collapse of two separate walls within the ancient archeological site of Pompeii.
But he is best known for his statements regarding the cinema industry. Last year, Bondi grabbed headlines when he criticized auteur and Venice Film Festival jury head Quentin Tarantino for the prizes the jury handed out and he said he believed the government should have the final say over the jury selection for the 67-year-old Venice festival.
Earlier, Bondi boycotted the Cannes and Locarno Film Festivals because they screened films critical of the government, and he said he would develop new criteria for determining which film projects where worthy of state funding, a move many in the industry said smacked of censorship.
Bondi, who did not address parliament to plead his case, was in the chamber when the vote took place. Afterwards, he accused those who voted against him of trying to kill culture in Italy.