Stefano Boeri—the talented architect, politician, and former editor of Domus—was summarily dismissed this week from his position as Councillor for Culture, Fashion, and Design for the city of Milan. Boeri, who for several years has tried to bring architecture and design into official decision making process, has apparently butted heads with Milan’s Mayor Giuliano Pisapia and has been pushed out the door.
He has, according to one observer of Italian politics, clashed with the mayor “over how much he spent on an exhibition,” who may be using the country’s budget woes as an excuse to sack a potential political opponent.
Boeri was coordinating the upcoming Milan Year of Culture and is not gong without a fight. A petition signed by host of major architects, artists, and cultural workers is being distributed to the press to put pressure on the mayor to bring Boeri back into government.
Dear Mayor Pisapia,
It is with regret and disappointment that we learn that Stefano Boeri was dismissed from his position as Councillor for Culture, Fashion and Design for the city of Milan.
Thanks to the energy and commitment of Boeri, and despite the deepening of the gravest crisis to have faced Italy since the postwar years, since 2011 Milan has succeded in projecting an image of renewed cultural vibrancy and dynamism onto the international stage. Thanks to Boeri’s many initiatives—citywide events such as Book City and Piano City, or international exhibitions of internationally renowned artists such as the Marina Abramovic, Picasso, Bramantino, Alberto Garutti and Jeff Wall—Milan had finally succeeded in reaffirming itself forcefully on the international stage as an epicentre of art, design, fashion and culture.
This unmotivated dismissal deprives Milan of one of its greatest assets—an individual who possesses the intelligence, energy, motivation and global network of relationships needed to make Milan an unrivaled protagonist of the European cultural scene of the 21st century. Stefano Boeri is one of Italy’s foremost cultural exponents: he has taught in universities in Italy and abroad, curated exhibitions, designed buildings and written books that have been translated into many languages. As such, this unmotivated dismissal seems to us inexplicable.
In this moment of grave crisis, we urge you to put personal differences aside and, for the good of the city, reconsider your decision.
Marina Abramović – Artist, New York
Iwan Baan – Photographer, Amsterdam
Tatiana Bilbao – Architect, Tatiana Bilbao Architects, Ciudad de Mexico
Daniel Birnbaum – Director, Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Petra Blaisse – Landscape Architect, Inside Outside, Rotterdam
Erica Bolton and Jane Quinn – Directors, Bolton Quinn, London
Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec – Designers, Paris
Maurizio Cattelan – Artist, Milan
Yung Ho Chang, MIT, Head of the Department of Architecture, Cambridge
Teddy Cruz – Architect, Teddy Cruz Architects, San Diego
Chris Dercon – Director, Tate Modern, London
Elizabeth Diller – Architect, New York
Jimmie Durham – Artist, Berlin
Okwui Enwezor – Curator, Munich
Amos Gitai – Film Director, Tel Aviv – Paris
Joseph Grima – Editor in chief, Domus, Milan
Zaha Hadid – Architect, Zaha Hadid Architects, London
Nikolaus Hirsch – Dean, Städelschule Frankfurt
Li Hu – Architect, Beijing
Bjarke Ingles – Architect, Bjarke Ingels Group Architects, Copenhagen
Rem Koolhaas – Architect, Rotterdam
Koyo Kouoh – Art Editor, Dakar
Armin Linke – Photographer, Berlin
Ross Lovegrove – Designer, London
Qingyun Ma – Architect, Shanghai
Michael Maltzan – Architect, Michael Maltzan Architecture, Los Angeles
Giancarlo Mazzanti – Architect, Mazzanti Arquitectos, Bogotà
Shelley McNamara & Yvonne Farrell – Architects, Grafton Architects, Dublin
Mohsen Mostafavi – Dean, GSD Harvard, Cambridge
Alexei Muratov – Journalist, Moscow
Jean Nouvel – Architect, Paris
Hans Ulrich Obrist – Co-director, Serpentine Gallery, London
Julia Peyton Jones – Director Serpentine Gallery, London
Bas Princen – Photographer, Amsterdam
Edi Rama – Artist and politician, Tirana
Anri Sala – Artist, Paris
Tomas Saraceno – Artist, Berlin
Milica Topalovic – Architect, Zurich