© Paolo Pampana

Livorno, agreement between Municipality, Port Authority & Chamber of Commerce

Old Fortress still under PNA management

by Port News Editorial Staff

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed this morning between Livorno Municipality, the North Tyrrhenian Port Network Authority and the Maremma & Tyrrhenian Chamber of Commerce for implementing measures to complete the program designed to enhance the Old Fortress.

It is preparatory to an on-going cultural federalism process that will eventually allow Livorno Municipality to become the owner of  the upper part of the Old Fortress which currently belongs to the State Property Office.

The document was signed in the Municipality’s Ceremonies Hall by the mayor Luca Salvetti, the president of the Maremma & Tyrrhenian Chamber of Commerce Riccardo Breda, and the North Tyrrhenian Port Network Authority’s senior promotion manager Claudio Capuano. Livorno City Council’s Port Councillor Barbara Bonciani was also present.

“In 2019,” said the mayor, “we began a very articulated process that has led us to the current scenario in which Tuscany Regional Administration and Livorno Municipality are economically committed to the project with an investment of €6 million already secured in their budgets, the confirmation of the Chamber of Commerce’s commitment as the owner of the part of the Old Fortress below ground-level  and the Port Network Authority’s commitment to continue to manage the facility in an absolutely exemplary fashion. This MoU sets out the necessary measures for implementing this enhancement program.”

The enhancement and renovation of the Old Fortress is a long-standing objective and central to the city’s current and future cultural, tourism and port-maritime policy strategies.

The acquisition process was initiated through an asset enhancement project that includes a series of upgrades to the monument, including structural ones. The signing of the MoU this morning permits the municipality to acquire legal authorization from the Chamber of Commerce (owner of the galleries) to be able to work in the area below ground-level as well, and to ensure that the Port Authority continues to manage the Old Fortress.

‘The signing of this Memorandum, which is the result of a long, complex process, is very important. The Old Fortress is one of Livorno’s most important and prestigious monuments. Its enhancement is strategic for redeveloping the city’s cultural tourism, which has been steadily increasing over the last few years, as shown by the statistics we have at our disposal as Chamber of Commerce,” President Riccardo Breda said. The Chamber of Commerce has made the part of the Fortress it owns, the underground part, available to be put to full use, for its accessibility and management, in synergy with Livorno Municipality and the Port Network Authority’.

“The Old Fortress, in the context of Livorno’s historical heritage, is certainly the most representative building in the history of the city and its port, connecting the sea with the land,” explains PNA senior promotion manager Claudio Capuano, delegated by President Guerrieri to sign the agreement. “In the perspective of the imminent conclusion of the state property federalism procedure, which Livorno Municipality had set in motion, the MoU we are signing today does not only represent the formal renewal of the concession the former Port Authority (now known as “Port Network Authority”) has been entrusted with by the State Property Agency and the Chamber of Commerce with since 2013, it is also the legal-administrative ratification of this relationship. We will continue to manage the monument  as we have done so in  the past, respecting  the strategies of its owners. In fact, our objective is to carry on enhancing its historical, cultural, promotional, tourist and educational perspectives through an increasingly effective synergy between public institutions, with a view to promoting our  port city and its traffic.”

‘This agreement,’ says councillor Barbara Bonciani, ‘is the culmination of the important work that our administration has done, not only from a technical point of view, but also from a political one. When we took office, we found a cultural federalism process that had been interrupted by the previous administration. Our administration took over this process, determined to get to the point of purchasing the state-owned part of the Old Fortress. We have accomplished it in great synergy, first and foremost with Tuscany Regional Administration, which has set aside €3 million euro, which the municipality has added another €3 million to. The synergy between our Municipal Administration, the Chamber of Commerce and the North Tyrrhenian Port Network Authority will also allow a synergic joint management of the Old Fortress. Following this signature, which is a preliminary step for the Municipality’s acquisition of the monument, a technical round table will be held on 20th February because cultural federalism passes through an enhancement agreement that has been presented by  Livorno Municipality which has to be validated by the Culture Ministry’s Regional Secretariat for Tuscany. We have already held an initial technical round table where the project received a very positive response. After which the final step will be taken at  a City Council meeting.”


Translation by Giles Foster

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