Italian culturalMinister Giuliani Urbani has been replaced by Rocco Buttiglione, theprospective EU commissioner who was rejected last year by MEPs because of hishomophobic remarks.

Urbani was responsible for introducing the country's newfilm law, as well as for hand-picking the last two presidents of the VeniceBiennale, Franco Bernabe' and Davide Croff, and the Venice festival's board ofdirectors.

Buttiglione'sappointment was part of a cabinet reshuffle, after Silvio Berlusconi's fragilecoalition collapsed last week, leading to his resignation as prime minister.Berlusconi was sworn in for the second time on Saturday, just three days afterhis government fell.

Over the courseof the last four years, Urbani - and Berlusconi's government - has frequentlycome under fire from the Italian film industry for interfering in the runningof the Venice Film Festival, and for allowing state funds for the entertainmentindustry to taper off.

Urbani recentlypromised to "find between Euros 25m and 30m for the national entertainmentindustry, so as to make up for excessive and untimely cuts" to statefunds, which slumped to Euros 94.9m from 108.4m in 2003 with only 46 filmsreceiving government funding compared to 57 the previous year.

According toindustry rumours, Urbani's next job could be as president of state broadcasterRAI.

Meanwhile,communications minister Maurizio Gasparri, who passed a media law which waswidely considered to benefit Silvio Berlusconi's private network Mediaset, hasbeen replaced by Mario Landolfi.