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Italian Town Must Pay Back Development Funds It Used On Elton John Show

Elton John and Leon Russell Perform

Elton John performs onstage in California.   Kevin Winter/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Kevin Winter/Getty Images

A short follow up on a story we touched upon a bit ago: The European Union decided that the regional authority of Campania in Italy has to pay back the $1 million in development funds it used to put on an Elton John concert. From the Guardian:

A European commission spokesman, Ton van Lierop, said today that a letter had been sent to the Italian authorities "asking them to reimburse, so pay back, the €720,000 from EU funding from the European regional development fund used for this concert".

"Cultural events, culture in general, can fall under the scope of operational programmes, but they have to be aimed at structural long-term investments," he said.

If you remember, Dario Scalabrini, the ex-head of region's tourism office, justified the expense by saying the concert promoted Neapolitan culture. "Elton John sang the Neapolitan song O Sole Mio for the first time ever," he added. "The audience was crying with emotion."

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