Italian art historian Giulio Carlo Argan summarises the almost decade-long debate in a 1955 Casabella-Continuita article. In 1947, Giovanni Ponti as the Commissario straordinario of the Venice Biennale called the first post-war meeting of the commission to organise the art exhibition for the following year. In 1968 the Venice Biennale embodied all the contradictions that were being targeted by the protests of that year and became the symbol of the cultural struggle for a democratic reform of all Italian public institutions of culture still governed by statutes decided by the fascist regime in the ’30s. In 1968 the Venice Biennale had been challenged for its structural backwardness and disconnection from the life of the city in which it was located. In 1968 Venice was a city in a profound functional crisis. Its interests were focused towards tourism and environmental exploitation, while the city was depopulating, preferring the mainland.