In a move designed to remind young people that culture can enrich one’s life and bring people together, Italian citizens are to get a €500 ‘culture bonus’ on their 18th birthday.
The initiative launches on 15 September, and the bonus can be spent on books, concerts tickets, theatre tickets, cinema tickets, museum visits and trips to national parks.
Some 575,000 teenagers are expected to benefit from the scheme, and though it will cost the Italian government €290 million, parliamentary undersecretary Tommaso Nannicini believes it is money well spent.
“The initiative sends a clear message to youngsters, reminding them that they belong to a community which welcomes them once they come of age,” he told Corriere.
“It also reminds them how important cultural consumption is, both for enriching yourself as a person and strengthening the fabric of our society.”
The scheme applies to Italian teenagers celebrating their 18th birthday before December 31 2016. 18-year-olds will be able to claim the fund through an app, downloading vouchers to their phones that can be used at online and physical stores.
The Italian government is planning a similar bonus for 2017, which will grant teachers €500 to spend on their professional development.
Source: The Independent
Further info in article on Artforum
Image: Italian teenagers interviewed by Corriere della Sera on the culture bonus