How can culture thrive once more?
After being forced to close as a result of the pandemic, concert venues, cinemas, theatres and exhibitions have all been in crisis and are still facing severe restrictions on visitors. Commentators call on the state to provide effective support for the revival of the cultural industry after lockdown.
Culture is part and parcel of Europe's identity
The alternative culture scene must also be saved, Delo stresses:
“The time has come for prudent government officials to prove their worth. They must provide comfort and support to the cultural proletariat with visions and measures. They must use their imagination and show how non-institutional culture, which is just as important as the programmes funded by the system, can be kept afloat. And they must provide it with a habitat that can ensure it flourishes once more. ... Culture is an irreplaceable part of Europe's identity, and it's up to the government to use clever and innovative solutions to create a new paradigm that is supportive and fair.”
Theatre every bit as important as football
Politicians are being too hesitant when it comes to reviving the art and culture sector, comedian and author Shappi Khorsandi complains in The Independent:
“The arts industry seems to be at the bottom of the food chain in terms of industries to be helped to get back on their feet. It was announced today that footballers can go back to training and the two-metre rule will not apply. Obviously, football is a huge business, but the passion people feel for football and the emotions it evokes isn't a million miles away from theatre. It matters to fans to see matches live, to be a part of the spectacle. I get it. We need it and we need theatre. ... Theatre is not a luxury. Without live arts, are we even human?”
Rich artists getting richer, poor getting poorer
Neatkarīgā is annoyed about the unequal distribution of money in the cultural sector:
“Cultural workers who are dependent on the state or the municipality can count on loss of employment benefits. Even if they don't get much, nobody will starve. But what will the freelance artists do, whose income depends on events and concerts? Their pockets are empty. ... Our most successful band, Brainstorm, has the least to complain about. ... Our Ministry of Culture has compensated the group for a canceled tour in Russia. And others who have received compensation are not among the poorest. But what compensation will musicians who are no longer allowed to play at weddings, parties or pubs receive?”
Culture doesn't need cement
The Lithuanian government plans to funnel a large part of the money for saving the cultural sector into construction projects. Lietuvos rytas is incensed:
“A large part of these millions of euros will be made available for various development projects, renovations and construction projects that were begun but have come to a standstill. ... Both the cultural sector and the opposition have criticised this use of the funds. ... On Friday Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis replied that large sums of money are also being spent on the real survival and revival of culture, but that the money for the construction projects is oxygen for the lungs of the economy. ... Politicians are accusing each other of misusing the money, but that doesn't change the reality of the situation.”