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Administrative jurisprudence is once again returning to the issue of the constraint on the so-called artist's studio, understood as that physical place, composed of furniture and furnishings, that is a significant expression of the artistic personality of the person who worked there.

This time it is the Regional Administrative Court of Emilia Romagna, Bologna seat, that has dealt with the issue with sentence no. 153 of 2017, which rejected the appeal introduced by the heirs of the famous singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla against the measure of the Regional Directorate for Cultural and Landscape Heritage of Emilia Romagna that declared the property and annexed furnishings of the home-studio of the recently deceased artist to be of cultural interest.

The judgement draws the reader's attention to the connection existing between the personality of the singer-songwriter and the objects and furnishings, going so far as to consider that even their location within the house and the way in which it was organised within it are manifestations of the development of the artistic creativity of their past owner.

In conclusion, writes the Bolognese college, what is intended to be protected in the artist's studio is the suggestion that it operates in its entirety and that refers directly to the spirit of the person who worked, composed, studied, suffered and, more generally, lived there, generating a sort of "functional connection between the property and the movable property" that "constitute a certainly heterogeneous whole, but representative of Lucio Dalla's personality and contribute in a decisive way to connote the large flat as the Bolognese artist's "house museum"".

Hence the irrelevance of the fact that some or even all of the movable assets subject to constraint may appear to lack a specific and individual cultural interest: what is to be protected, in fact, is not the cultural importance of the single compendium of furnishings, but the whole of them: "the constraint", the judges go on to write, "is not directed at the work and/or the artistic value of the property in itself, but at the cultural importance of the property and the movable property as arranged by Lucio Dalla and as constituting an expression also of furnishing architecture, that is, as evidence of the identity and history of the artist and of a very high expression of Italian music from the 1960s onwards".

Up to this point, the ruling appears to be absolutely in line with the common interpretation given by jurisprudence and doctrine to the protection of the artist's studio; however, the Bologna court seems to go further, going so far as to believe that the constraint imposed by Article 10, paragraph 3 letter d) of the Code of Cultural Heritage (which, as is known, protects the connection with political, military, scientific, technical and cultural history) can lead to the protection of the history and culture of the individual artist.

This assumption is, in my opinion, unacceptable, since the law unequivocally links the bond to the correlation with cultural history and not the individual person; the logical leap will therefore only be admissible where it is demonstrated that the personage to whom the object belonged was of epochal importance, such as to mark an irreversible turning point in his sector of activity: thus can be considered Galileo's telescope or the dress with which Napoleon was crowned king of Italy, conserved in Florence in the Stibbert collection.

This may not be the case for the study of the Bolognese songwriter, not only because the Court and the administration have not ventured into such matters, but also and above all because such considerations will necessarily have to await the judgement of posterity.

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