If ever, one day, that marriage will take place, it will be the culmination of a very long distance (close) relationship. The story between Rai and Portello is in fact a very tormented story: on the genre Love in the time of cholera but with very little romantic and twists that make your arms fall rather than make your heart beat. The green light for the relocation of the Milanese production center to the former pavilions of the Fair – arrived a few days ago from the board of directors of the state TV – not in fact that yet another green light a an operation that has been considered imminent for years and then vanishes from all agendas.
The question began to take shape about ten years ago, when the unions asked for adequate space, human resources and creative capacity, but the first formal step for the expansion of the Milanese headquarters of Rai dates back to the spring of 2014, when the board of directors chaired by Luigi Gubitosi published a public notice for the offer of properties in Milan. Among the requirements there is the proximity of a metro station, a position that is not too decentralized because the declared objective is to create a cultural center in the city. Although at that moment the Expo area was already the subject of conjectures and conjurations to avoid a future as a cathedral in the desert, immediately the former pavilions 1 and 2 of the old Campionaria or – which Fondazione Fiera proposes to Rai – appear to be the most plausible solution. At that moment that area still at the center of another long controversy, which from a possible destination for the Milan stadium led it to become the perimeter for the upper Milan designed by Vitali and Stam, and then transform it into a matter for lawyers . And then, after all, at the Fiera Rai has breathed the air of home since the days when Mike Bongiorno shouted breath at the Turchetti trumpets right from the studios of Porta Domodossola. However, after some time, there is no mention of the transfer of the productions hosted in via Mecenate to the Portello. Blame the legal dispute that binds the hands of the Fiera Foundation, it is said. But that’s not the only truth.
The question re-emerged three years later, when Piero Gaffuri led the production center in Corso Sempione, that is the Rai manager with the highest specific weight ever landed at the peripheral headquarters in Milan. Although he does not explicitly mention it, for legal reasons, he denotes the Portello operation as imminent and outlines the future role of the Lombard pole, also hypothesising the production of a fiction, a sort of A place in the Ambrosian sun to tell the international city. A new public tender starts and the finish line does not appear far away, because the expiry of the rental contract for the spaces in via Mecenate is set for 2019. But then Gaffuri leaves the scene for personal reasons and the project for the Milanese production and cultural center of Rai remains suspended. in the expectations of the workers and the city.
At that moment, among other things, the Lega ruled and wanted to let people know that it is pushing to give Milan what it deserves. And a year later, in fact, from Rome comes a new go-ahead signal: the Rai board approves the finalization of the operation with Ente Fiera which presented the best offer for the rationalization of the Rai spaces in the Lombard capital. Not the definitive seal but it looks a lot like us and the Milanese director in charge, Enrico Motta, is determined to make the project come true. However, again, nothing happens, the contract of via Mecenate has in the meantime been extended to 2024 and an anti-Covid hospital is being built at Portello. Hence last week’s decision: ten years and six directors later, the RAI top management (about to expire) reaffirm the validity of the project. Bipartisan enthusiasm in Milan, fratricidal frond of the Democratic Party in Rome. Only Penelope could have done better.
June 3, 2021 | 10:00
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