Marco Mueller will remain at the helm of the Venice Film Festival for a second four-year mandate, Italy's culture minister Francesco Rutelli said Friday as he hailed Mueller's work as 'excellent.'

Rutelli has also indicated that Paolo Baratta, a former banker, government minister and previous Biennale president will return to the job as president of the Italian arts organization. Baratta held the role in 1998-2002.

While Mueller has to be re-appointed by the new Biennale President, who must first be voted in by the Italian parliament, Rutelli's statement essentially gives Mueller and Baratta his full backing, and the parliamentary vote is considered a formality.

Last month, Rutelli said out-going Biennale President Davide Croff would not continue on and work alongside Mueller in the second mandate - but thanked him for setting the agenda of priorities for the next four years, among which the building of the new Palazzo del Cinema is at the top of the list.

The Croff-Mueller leadership obtained government approval to the long-in-the-works Palazzo project last summer.

Rutelli's selection of Paolo Baratta who was a previous Biennale president is one signal that the Biennale wants stability and growth for its preeminent arts organization, which Rutelli called 'the most prestigious international cultural institution.'

At the same time, Rutelli said that the government would continue to increase investment in the Biennale, which encompasses cinema, art, architecture, music, theatre and dance.

On the artistic front, Mueller's role at the top of the Venice Fest promises to offer the 75-year old organization stability that it hasn't seen in more than a decade. Prior to Mueller's mandate - the fest has seen four different directors over the past ten years.

The last edition of the Venice Film Fest has been praised as one of the strongest editions in recent years. The reconfirmation of Mueller and the government promise to increase the arts budget means that the venerable festival will have the tools needed to create update its outdated infrastructure.