The Brothers of Italy, an outspoken far-right Italian political party, is up in arms over a new campaign to draw Arabic-speaking visitors to the Egyptian Museum in Turin. According to the New York Times, the group gathered at the institution on Friday to protest a new two-for-one admission discount for Arabic speakers, alleging that it discriminates against Italians.
Museum director Christian Greco confronted the demonstrators to explain that the museum belongs to everyone and then asked if the party plans to protest the couples’ discount that will be implemented on Valentine’s Day or the student discount offered on Thursdays. The incident was captured on video and widely circulated on social media.
On Sunday, Federico Mollicone, the Brothers of Italy’s head of communications, went as far as to say the discount was a “symptom of the illness of the West.” In the same interview with the Italian news agency ANSA, he also threatened to have Greco fired once the party gains power in government, but he later backtracked. The comment sparked a number of cultural figures to speak up in Greco’s defense, including culture minister Dario Franceschini.
The controversy occurred in the weeks leading up to the national elections on March 4. The Brothers of Italy are notorious for their anti-immigration mantra and ties to the disbanded Fascist party.