Czech Ministry of Culture To Offer Compensation To Non-State Museums and Galleries
The Czech Ministry of Culture will establish a new support program to compensate the operating expenses of museums and galleries which are privately-run but accessible to the public, as cultural activities are currently suspended due to the anti-epidemic measures. Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek added that the ministry promises further aid for self-employed artists as well. Photo Credit: Vlada.cz.
Czech Rep., Mar 11 (BD) The Czech Ministry of Culture is working on a new support program to compensate the operating expenses of museums and galleries which are privately-run but accessible to the public, as cultural activities are currently suspended due to the anti-epidemic measures. The ministry will guarantee several million Czech crowns, and a call for applications will be announced by the ministry in the coming weeks. Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek (ČSSD) announced the plans on Monday in a letter addressed to the cultural community.
Zaorálek also said that he has been negotiating with the Ministry of Health to ease the anti-epidemic measures related to cultural activities. “According to the most recent information, the easing process should again take place according to the well-known anti-epidemic system (PES). Of course, we are also working with the Ministry of Health on the conditions for organizing summer festivals. This is reasonably linked to testing visitors to events (for COVID-19),” he said.
As the first wave of the pandemic started in 2020, the Ministry of Culture began helping the cultural sector with a CZK 1 billion rescue package, for use by regular beneficiaries of state subsidies. “Also this year, the budget of the Cultural Activities Program has been increased to CZK 644 million. The program of state support for professional theaters, symphony orchestras, and choirs was even increased to CZK 700 million,” the minister said in the letter. According to Zaorálek, it is now possible to cover operating costs, such as employee wages or rental costs, as well as the costs of cultural events that could not take place due to the pandemic but had already been planned. The ministry also recommends using these funds to regularly test employees in all cultural institutions. Applicants can submit their applications for this round of the Ministry of Culture’s support, totalling CZK 800 million, from March 1st to April 30th. Self-employed artists are also eligible to apply for a compensatory bonus from the Ministry of Finance, but the two benefits cannot be combined.