IULM Professor Antonio Scurati Named Chevalier in Arts and Letters in France

University - 18 June 2024

Antonio Scurati, a writer and professor at our Athenaeum, has been named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in France: the IULM University expresses deep pride for the recognition obtained by one of its professors, considered one of the most lucid and authoritative contemporary writers and intellectuals of our time.

On June 17, 2024, IULM writer and professor Antonio Scurati was awarded the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in France. The prestigious distinction was bestowed by the French Minister of Culture, Rachida Dati, during a ceremony in the halls of the Ministry of Culture.

Rachida Dati praised Scurati, calling him a writer who"scrutinizes the past to make us understand our present." In her speech, she emphasized how Scurati represents"the friendship between France and Italy, two countries where culture and literature are deeply important and love to dialogue, especially after the signing of the Quirinal Treaty. Two countries that love each other's writers." The minister went on to describe Scurati as"a writer of History (Histoire) with a capital 'H,'" and stressed how the message emerges from his novels that "radicalism and violence never build democracy."

In his acceptance speech, Scurati expressed great honor and pride at the recognition, saying, "France is for me not only the home of the highest literary culture, but also of the highest political culture. In my vision as a 21st century European writer, the two are inseparable. It is impossible for me to imagine a world in which literature flourishes in the absence of freedom and equality. The idea of passing on this treasure to my children as if it were a flower in the desert is untenable for me."

Scurati also expressed concern about current times, comparing today's situation to that of a century ago. "Compared to 100 years ago, the differences are numerous and profound. However, I see the same wind blowing on the fears of the people, on the passions of the country, on the feeling of disappointment of the impoverished middle classes, on the citizens frightened by wars, pandemics and betrayed promises. This unhealthy wind does not just sow fear, but unites it with hatred and the search for a foreign enemy, an invader," the writer said. He concluded his speech by saying that in the face of this "obscene and melancholic proposal, art and literature respond with one word: 'L'Espoir,' hope."

The University expresses deep pride in the recognition obtained by IULM professor Antonio Scurati: this prestigious title highlights the value and commitment of one of the most lucid and authoritative contemporary writers and intellectuals of our time