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A journalist films marble Roman statues on the occasion of the official presentation of the restored Hall of Emperors at the Capitoline museum, in Rome, Wednesday, July 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Italy is paying teens to get cultured so they don't become terrorists


They imagine terror, we answer with culture. They destroy statues, we love art. They destroy books, we are the country of libraries.
Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi

Italy is trying to fight fire with... art.

The country will give 18-year-olds a 500 euro ($566) birthday present to spend at theaters, concerts and museums, starting Sept. 15.

The reason? Counterterrorism.

'Culturally enriching' -- no, seriously

The goal, Quartz reports, is that exposure to Italian culture will keep the teens from becoming radicalized. The government also believes the gift is a sign of goodwill and community.

And like all projects aimed at millennials, the money is collected through an app, called 18app. The app also tracks where the money goes, so the government can confirm it's actually "culturally enriching," CityLab reports.

This will cost the Italian government about 209 million euros, or about $235 million.

Is this unique? Kinda

"The initiative sends a clear message to youngsters, reminding them that they belong to a community which welcomes them once they come of age," said Tommaso Nannicini, who oversees the project.

Other nations have given out money to young people, but mostly that's about helping them find housing, as in Canada, Finland and the Netherlands, according to CityLab. 

Should the US give money to teens for 'cultural enrichment'?

60 Second Circa for Wednesday AM, Aug. 24, 2016

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