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'School not school if only for the rich' says Mattarella in Paris

'School not school if only for the rich' says Mattarella in Paris

President recalls the legacy of Don Milani

ROME, 07 June 2023, 12:48

Redazione ANSA




School is not school if it is only for the rich, President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella told Italian students in Paris on Wednesday, recalling the legacy of the great educator of the poor Don Lorenzo Milani.
    "Don Milani was an extraordinary figure, he sowed much more than we can imagine," Mattarella told students at the Leonardo da Vinci Italian state school in the French capital.
    The late Catholic priest spoke so much about a school for all because "a school that is available only to those that can afford it is not a school," he continued.
    This year marks the centenary of the birth of Don Milani, who turned his school at Barbiana near Florence into an engine of emancipation.
    "You students - from the youngest at the beginning of their schooling, to those who are concluding a course of study - represent an important reality not only for Italy and France, but also for Europe," said the head of state.
    This is because "Europe is not only the sphere our countries exist in, but it is, above all, an ideal, made up of people, experiences, affinities, values, dreams," continued Matterella, telling the students that "it is here, more than in other places, that Europe is being built." Frontiers should never be a limitation but an "enrichment", said the president, recalling how "border areas have always been very troubled places , of great mutual suffering".
    Mattarella also reminded the students that they are studying to become citizens of an open society and that culture is the "best calling card" of any country.
    Culture "is by definition a heritage to be safeguarded and developed with care and application," said the president, who was to inaugurate the exhibition 'Naples in Paris' together with French President Emanuel Macron at the Louvre later on Wednesday.
    "The cultural exchange between Italy and France goes back a long way and has made a contribution to European culture," continued Mattarella.
    "Culture is the vehicle by which we travel the road to the future. Without culture one remains stationary," he said.


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