Minister details Dutch culture cuts

11th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Deputy Culture Minister Halbe Zijlstra plans to impose as few cuts as possible on top cultural institutions as part of the Dutch government’s current austerity programme. The culture sector is facing cuts in government subsidies to the tune of 200 million euros, leaving 700 million to go round in 2013.

The Culture Council has advised the government to spread the cuts right across the sector’s “basic infrastructure”. Mr Zijlstra is rejecting this advice and says he wants to take as much money as possible away from institutions which do not directly generate art, but merely support or facilitate it. Faced with the rejection of its advice, the Council is has threatened to resign, an unprecedented step since the inauguration of the Council in 1995.

Mr Zijlstra has indicated how many institutions are likely to survive beyond 2013, without identifying which of them will be abolished. The present ten orchestras will be cut to seven and there will be four dance companies, down from the present seven. There will be two opera companies instead of three, eight theatre companies instead of nine and three film festivals, down from the present five.

The number of museums in receipt of government subsidies will remain 28 although they will be required to generate a minimum income.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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