Columbia Sued Over Italian-Studies Academy

The lawsuit alleges that La Casa Italiana's work is "elitist and detached'' and fails to encompass any serious scholarship in Italian-American history''

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012  |  Updated 9:43 AM EDT
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An Italian-American organization says Columbia University has allowed its Italian studies program to promote stereotypes of Italian culture.      

The Italic Institute of America says in a lawsuit that La Casa Italiana's work is "elitist and detached'' and fails to encompass any serious scholarship in Italian-American history.''      

Institute members' families donated money to create the academy and two Columbia endowments in 1927.      

The suit asks for an accounting of how the money is being spent, according to The New York Post. It also wants Columbia to "honor the original intent'' of the donating families.      

The suit also says 20,000 volumes of Italian literature were moved from La Casa Italian to the basement of Butler Library where they're "collecting dust.''      
Columbia said it wouldn't comment on pending litigation.

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