French Culture Budget Up!

In contrast to the struggling art and music scene in America and the expected cuts in the culture budget in England, both France and Germany have guaranteed full financial support for their cultural programs.

In early July, the German Federal Council of Ministers approved the budget bill for 2011 with the Culture budget unaffected. Culture Minister Bernd Neumann indicated that this decision shows the importance the German government attaches to the role of culture in society.

On September 30, the French Minister of Culture, Frederic Mitterand, announced that the French Culture budget will actually increase a modest 2.7%. “Though most of the countries of Europe has chosen to trim, often substantially, their culture budgets, France has made a different choice. The cultural offering is a determining element in our attractiveness as a country and its economic development.”

Mitterand also, in response to a question, indicated that his ministry was active in supporting the new and architectually dramatic concert hall in the La Villette section of Paris. A project “on hold” for the past several months, the next phase is expected to resume shortly.

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