Gian Carlo Menotti Founder                                                    Francis Menotti President and Artistic Director


Open Letter: 10 June 2008

With reference to the press release issued by the Mayor of Spoleto, Massimo Brunini, and by councillor Gilberto Stella (also by virtue of their roles as vice-chairmen of the Festival Foundation) after their meeting with representatives of the town’s economic sector, I wish to make clear the following points.

The Menotti family and the Association of the “Festival dei Due Mondi” have no intention whatosever of hindering the Spoleto Town Council in organizing artistic and cultural events. It is in any case clear to all that the Menottis were themselves foremost in transforming the town of Spoleto into a cradle of art and culture, for Umbria and for the world.

What, however, is within the Menottis’ right is to prevent the unauthorized use of the trademarks “Festival dei Due Mondi” and “Festival di Spoleto”, of which they have exclusive ownership.

This fact was in any case well known for years to the Foundation “Festival dei Due Mondi”. As far back as 2004, the Spoleto Law Court made clear the following in no uncertain terms: 

“(…) The purpose assigned to the Foundation was that of maintaining the Festival’s activities over the course of time, ensuring the event’s continuity (…). These being the tasks assigned to the Foundation by Gian Carlo Menotti himself, it is clear that the organization of events, even of an artistic nature, by the Foundation cannot of itself be considered a usurpation of the trademark or unfair competition, provided that such events serve the Festival’s ends (the purpose for which the Foundation was created) and do not make use of the wording under discussion [i.e. the trademark(s)]. If this were to be the case, it would constitute a usurpation of the trademark, to the use of which by the Foundation maestro Menotti gave absolutely no consent. Nor may the Foundation organize events that could be considered in competition with, or liable to be confused with, those of the Festival: in such a case, the Foundation would be acting outside the range of, and in conflict with, the tasks assigned to it and hence beyond the limits within which there was agreement on the use of the wording”.

And in response to the numerous other conjectures in circulation (such as today’s), I wish to emphasise that the Menotti family has never requested “cushy” annuities, only and exclusively the recognition of what the whole world calls the licensing of a trademark. Long and exhausting negotiations went on for at least 12 months, in the attempt to reach an agreement on the future of the Festival that would satisfy all parties involved, ensuring a real continuity to the event and a super partes role to the Ministry of Cultural Heritage.


Francis Menotti