Denmark/ 6.2 Public cultural expenditure  

6.2.3 Sector breakdown

Table 3:    State cultural expenditure: by sector, in million DKK, 2011 (budget figures)

Field / Domain / Sub-domain

Direct expenditure (state)1

Municipalities

Total

% total

Cultural Goods

2 261.8

3 348.3

5 610.1

33.7%

Cultural Heritage

1 010.3

567.2

1 577.5

28.1%

Historical Monuments3

62.4

0.0

62.4

4%

Museums and zoos (and botanic gardens)

947.9

567.2

1 515.1

96%

Archives

236.7

0.0

236.7

4.3%

Libraries

1 014.8

2 781.1

3 795.9

67.6%

Arts

2 438.4

939.7

3 378.1

20.3%

Visual Arts (including architecture, arts & crafts and design)

486.2

0.0

486.2

14.4%

Visual arts

85.3

0.0

85.3

17.5%

Architecture, arts & crafts and design

400.9

0.0

400.9

82.5%

Performing Arts

1 952.2

939.7

2 891.9

85.6 %

Music

644.2

660.6

1 304.8

45.1%

Theatre and Musical Theatre

1 308.0

279.1

1 587.1

54.9%

Multidisciplinary

----

-----

-----

-----.

Media

4 902.8

18.3

4 921.1

29.5%

Books and Press

455.5

0.0

455.5

9.0%

Books

43.2

0.0

43.2

9.5%

Press

412.3

0.0

412.3

90.5%

Audio, Audiovisual and Multimedia

4 447.3

18.3

4 579.2

91.0%

Cinema and Computer Games4

307.0

18.3

438.9

9.6%

Radio and television5

4 140.3

0.0

4 140.3

90.4%

Other

796.6

1 953.9

2 750.5

16.5%

Interdisciplinary6

791.9

1 953.9

2 745.8

99.8%

Socio-cultural

418.6

1 953.9

2 372.5

86.4%

Cultural Relations Abroad

-----

-----

-----

-----

Administration

373.3

0.0

373.3

13.6%

Educational Activities

-----

-----

-----

-----

Not allocable by domain

4.7

0.0

4.7

0.2%

TOTAL

10 399.6

6 261.2

16 660.8

100%

Source:    Danish Statistics. Decimals can differ. As the official report for cultural allocations 2011 (Kulturpenge 2011) was not yet available, these numbers are extracted from Tables provided by Danish Statistics. This means that the actual dissemination of numbers is not as specific as it could have been (see Table 2).
1                   Including receipts from the state lottery pools (tipsmidler) – not including receipts for the state sports pools.
2                   Since 1999, groups of municipalities had the possibility of establishing a cultural agreement with the Minister of Culture for the period 2004-2007. By such an agreement, the groups of municipalities took over a part of the state's tasks and obligations – and therefore also a yearly cultural framework budget for allocation. These are the only cultural amounts that were transferred from the state to other levels of government. In consequence of the local government reform, all cultural agreements were renegotiated before the end of 2006 and again in 2007.
3                   Preserved buildings and ancient monuments are in this context considered historical monuments.
4                   Computer games are included in the figure for films. This is however not a considerable amount, as it is 1.2 million DKK from the state and 0 DKK from municipalities.
5                   Radio and television are almost exclusively supported by license funding. The division between radio and television cannot be calculated. Some municipalities support or run local TV and radio-stations, but there is no information available on the total amount of these expenses.
6                   Cultural relations abroad and educational activities were not available in the figures from Denmark's Statistics. The interdisciplinary category is therefore composed of administration and what is termed other / interdisciplinary culture – which we chose to place in the socio-cultural column.

Sports are a part of the expenditure of the Danish Ministry of Culture. However, in this Table - as well as in the previous one - the expenditure for sports has been subtracted from the total budget.

Starved institutions

The past year has been hard for national cultural flagships like The Royal Theatre, the National Museum of Denmark, the Royal Library etc. which in recent years have been through downsizing and redundancies (see chapter 4.1). This has led experts to warn that Danish heritage will eventually be threatened because there are insufficient resources to maintain books and museum objects. National Museum guards have warned that security around the museum's 900 000 artefacts is alarmingly poor.

The cuts were a consequence of VKO administration's so-called recovery package, presented on 19 May 2010. The recovery package was a plan for how the government would carry out the necessary rehabilitation of public finances towards 2013 in the wake of the international crisis. There were high expectations that the new government would bring more money to the starving cultural institutions as this was promised by the parties. However, with the presentation of the new governmental programme A Denmark That Stands Together, amended in October 2011 - it was stated that the cultural budget would not to be increased (see chapter 4.1).

The financial disputes over the "bricks"

According to the Royal Theatre's own calculations, the theatre has, since 2000, been continuously subjected to savings. In 2011, 66.5 million DKK must be saved. According to the theatre's own calculations, the savings in 2015 will amount to 100 million DKK annually. Thus, the calculated savings in fact counterbalance the extra appropriation of 100 million DKK annually allocated by the government for artistic operations at the opening of the new Opera House in 2005.

Meanwhile, the additional cost of the buildings increased from 45 million DKK in 2000 to 125 million DKK in 2011 and administrative costs from 45 million DKK in 2000 to 111 million DKK in 2011.

Of the total revenue for the Royal Theatre of about 690 billion DKK approximately, 235 DKK were spent on buildings and administration or approximately 1/3 of the budget spent on art production. In 2000 it was 1/4 to buildings and administration, and 3/4 to content production of drama, ballet and opera.

The Ministry of Culture disagrees with these calculations. But there is consensus that the opera was an expensive gift for the Royal Theatre.

Regardless of what is right or wrong in these calculations, it is difficult to explain away that the relative share of total income to art production dropped from 3/4 to 2/3 between 2001 and 2010 (http://www.politiken.dk, February 5 2008.

Other economic experts advocate the view that the economic crisis and the quality and artistic effects cannot be reduced to a matter of state budget cuts in public or additional public expenses caused by the private donation from the AP. Møller Foundation to build the opera house in 2005.The economic reality should long since have been anticipated and incorporated into realistic plans for the Royal Theatre’s continued operation and artistic activities.

Although the new opera and the new theatre take up a lot of the Royal Theatre's budget, it is not just the buildings that eat the money. In contrast, labour costs have rocketed. In a review of the past 10 years of accounting, Stig Jarl - associate professor in the Department of Arts and Culture at the University of Copenhagen, found that the Royal Theatre spent 260 million DKK on salaries in 2000, while this has risen to 490 million DKK in 2010.

Although the theatre has received two new houses, the Opera in 2005 and the New Theatre House, financed by public means in 2008, the cost of salaries is nowhere near as great as the increase in public support. With the two houses, the cost of buildings increased by 90 million USD annually to 136 million kroner in 2010. But public funding from the state and Copenhagen Municipality during the period grew by 154 million.

So more than 90 million DKK has been publicly allocated extra to the Theatre over and above the cost to manage the buildings of the new Opera House and the New Theatre House. So when accounts are settled, the theatre had 64 million more public DKK to spend on content productions in 2010 than it had in 2000.

The theatre has announced that it is forced to cut operations down to the same level as when the theatre only played on the old stage. In January 2012, 81 staff positions were lost, of which 33 were actors, dancers and opera singers and 18 were stage technicians.

"The Royal Theatre has told a story about the buildings eroding the budget. There is simply no evidence for this. Just as there is no evidence that politicians have been cutting down the public budget to the Royal Theatre, as we have been informed”, argued Stig Jarl.

First, the activity increased dramatically with the two houses, not just in the productions, but also outside of the productions, such as in the restaurant in the playhouse and events such as Ofelia Beach, replied theatre manager Erik Jacobsen to the debate in January 2012. "We have increased the level of activity each year until 2010 and therefore we had to hire more employees. Now we have to cut down on activity and have fired employees. It will reduce our labour costs. But Erik Jacobsen agrees that the theatre overall had 64 million more public funding available for art production in 2010 compared with the beginning of the millennium"(further information on the crisis, see chapter 4.1).


Chapter published: 10-04-2012


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