7/12/2010 - Protesters clashed with Italian riot police on Tuesday in front of Milan's world-famous La Scala opera house. Hours before an opera season opening performance of Richard Wagner's The Valkyrie was due to open at La Scala, students let off flares and smoke bombs as part of protests against government higher education reforms currently in parliament.
Inside La Scala, conductor Daniel Barenboim used the opportunity to lobby Italy's president, Giorgio Napolitano, who was in the audience. Turning to the stalls before the performance began, Barenboim announced that “in the names of the colleagues who play, sing, dance and work, not only here but in all theatres, I am here to tell you we are deeply worried for the future of culture in the country and in Europe."
He then read out the ninth article of the Italian constitution, which includes a promise to protect the country’s "historical and artistic heritage" as well as promoting "the development of culture and scientific and technical research."
Italy: Clashes hit Milan's La Scala opening night (ADNKronos, Italy)
Clashes mar La Scala season opener (DPA via Monsters & Critics)
7 dicembre - Prima della Scala Milano: una generazione precaria in rivolta! (MilanoX via Uniriot, Italy, background article)
Verso la sfiducia – Le rivolte non si fermano (Atenei in rivolta, Italy, also about today's actions in Bari, Catania, Roma, Torino)
Photo: Luca Bruni /AP