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Not a lot of people know this – Francesco Rutelli

Apparently, Francesco Rutelli, the present Italian Cultural Affairs minister, once replaced the Italian flag which flew at Palazzo Montecitorio with that of the Vatican. I have not been able to discover in exactly which year Rutelli did this mischievous act, but it was interesting to hear about it from my former wannabe Italian politician student.

At the time of this act, which was a direct protest against the influence that the Vatican exerts on Italian politics, Francesco Rutelli was a member of a radical political party. In another radical incident, he also spent a short time behind bars after having very publicly smoked a joint, which he inhaled.

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Alas it now seems that the formerly radical Rutelli has become absorbed into the repetitive instability that is mainstream politics in the Living Museum, and it is highly doubtful that he will carry out such an overt protest ever again. I suppose you could say that Rutelli has fallen upwards.

Actually, I understand that Rutelli is proposing himself as a candidate for Walter Veltroni’s former post, that of Mayor of the Eternal City. Interestingly, Rutelli has already been the Mayor of Rome, and preceded Veltroni.

In a country which regularly shies away from the new, the regurgitated Rutelli may well be in with a pretty good chance of being elected Mayor of Rome yet again.

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