Monday, July 29, 2013

BBC: «Portuguese culture feels the pinch as arts budget slashed»

Na BBC: Portuguese culture feels the pinch as arts budget slashed
"We have to survive so we are looking everywhere - except towards our government which doesn't help us."

Portugal does not have a strong tradition of private cultural philanthropy, nor does it have many private foundations dedicated to supporting the arts.
With state funding halved, many theatres, operas, galleries have been left in a precarious state and cultural historian and former Culture Secretary Rui Vieira Nery wonders how they will recover.

"The cuts will have a tragic affect on all aspects of Portuguese cultural life," he argues.

"Remember that in Portugal we don't have sound cultural institutions - ours are rather recent and haven't been established deeply enough to survive these brutal cuts."

He goes on to remind me that for much of the 20th Century Portugal was stifled under a right-wing dictatorship, and when it emerged after a bloodless coup in 1974, more than 40% of the Portuguese people were illiterate.

"We've spent so much money in the last 25 years on developing the arts scene in Portugal, and now we have architects, artists, film directors and writers who are all internationally acclaimed.

"It's just such a terrible waste."
Foto: Palácio Nacional da Ajuda, sede do defunto Ministério da Cultura...