The “male chauvinist” statute of Ricci Oddi is being discussed “Before any changes need a legal opinion”

A question of shared principle, but to be verified with caution in its application in order not to risk facing legal appeals or even the questioning of the donation of the Ricci Oddi family. He discusses the proposed proposal in the city council with a motion from Stefano Cugini and Luigi Rabuffi (Alternative for Piacenza) to “update” the statute of the Gallery to the canons of the gender equality. Under fire of the two municipal councilors Article 17 which in fact still favors the “masculine” hereditary line of the Ricci Oddi family in the designation of its representative by right on the board of directors of the Gallery, while not completely excluding the possibility that it may be a woman. The board of directors which today also sees only one woman out of seven members.

In the presentation of the proposal, Cugini referred to the Constitution of ’48 that came into force after the foundation of the Ricci Oddi Gallery in 1929, asking that the representatives of the Municipality become bearers of a change of the disputed article, as part of the process of revision of the Statute already underway to review the legal nature of the cultural institution. “An article of this kind cannot be admitted in 2022 – he said – and the prudential position of the administration that prefers to wait before acting cannot satisfy us, we need more courage and we must adapt Ricci Oddi to other similar public bodies” .

In his reply the Councilor for Culture Christian Fiazza in fact, he expressed a prudent position of the administration: “We are all aware of the great beauty and great potential of the Ricci Oddi Gallery, but it is a moral body born in 1929 when the Albertine Statute was in force, which did not recognize any type of female branch of hereditary line. We have a duty to enhance this body, there is an essential element on gender equality that should be updated, but we must apply a principle of caution “. The concern of the Municipality is in fact to always respect the will of the donor, the noble Ricci Oddi, who indicated the ways of representing his family in the act of donation of the cultural heritage. “There is no clear violation of the principles of gender equality, – the commissioner recalled – even the notary Massimo Toscani recently consulted, he considered legitimate the preference of the male line over the female one, which in any case does not exclude the latter ”. “We will proceed as soon as possible – underlined Fiazza – in the transformation of Ricci Oddi into a third sector body, so as not to let it remain out of time”. The commissioner then showed some photos of the walls peeling and damaged by humidity of some exhibition rooms and remembered the rupture of a skylight at the end of August which caused water infiltrations on a rainy day: “A shameful situation” – the words of Fiazza.

“A few more steps must be made for the transformation of the statute, – he concluded – because today the Galleria has such a strange and dangerous legal form that before proceeding with the changes required by Cugini’s motion which reflects the principles of the center left, it is necessary to make a careful evaluation ”. In the debate that followed several interventions by the councilors, but also the opposition sided with the councilor for Culture. Its predecessor Jonathan Papamarenghi (center-right house) he affirmed: “We cannot but agree with the question posed by Cugini, but we ask for an in-depth legal analysis before taking steps in the direction of a modification of the statute that could be contested”.

For the former mayor Patrizia Barbieri “In principle, one cannot disagree, but a legal verification must be made because there is the risk that even the heirs will take back the assets of the donation, it is not a question of courage but of a sense of responsibility, we are in a private sphere of law. There is no need for provocations, but it is necessary to interest the community on such an important issue “. Also for Massimo Trespidi (center-right street number) you can’t tear yourself apart: “The sense of responsibility and caution prevail, we share Fiazza’s considerations, otherwise there is the risk of adventurism. We need a legal opinion that will protect us from a legal point of view to remain in the wake of the Gallery’s will to donate, the spirit of Cugini’s initiative is positive but the feasibility must be verified, you cannot climb the Himalayas in flip-flops “. Even the group leader Pd Andrea Fossati he spoke of the need to proceed with “leaden feet” to avoid causing damage to the Municipality: “The priority is the transformation of Ricci Oddi into a Foundation”. At the end of the debate, the motion was rejected with 26 no, two yes and one abstained.

The “male chauvinist” statute of Ricci Oddi is being discussed “Before any changes need a legal opinion” –