Germany/ 4. Current issues in cultural policy development and debate  

4.3 Other relevant issues and debates

In opening the expanded and remodeled National Museum of China in Beijing the world's biggest museum started to operate. Besides the two permanent exhibitions on Chinese History, the museum presents the one year long exhibition "The Art of the Enlightenment", an exhibition presented by three German Museums in Berlin, Dresden and Munich. At a cost of 10 million EUR, of which 6.6 million EUR was contributed by the German Foreign Office, it is the most expensive German exhibition abroad so far. After arresting the dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei two days after the opening of the exhibition, a debate arose in Germany about its Foreign Cultural and Educational Policy. The debate focused on the Foreign Cultural and Educational Policy of Germany with totalitarian regimes of injustice and demanded the immediate termination of the exhibition.

Another relevant issue in 2011 worth mentioning was the increase in initiatives by citizens. On the one hand, protests were held against the cutbacks in local budgets and the consequences for funding cultural institutions (as e.g. in Wuppertal, Essen, Stuttgart). While the initiatives do not plan to prevent closing of cultural institutions they want a more meaningful role in shaping the cultural infrastructure and urban space (as e.g. in Cologne where there was an initiative against an expensive new building for the municipal theatre and a request for an less expensive reconstruction of the old Riphan theatre). Another type of initiative is the participation in developing culture concepts or cultural development plans (e.g. Freiburg) or participatory budgets (in spring 2010 in more than 65 German Cities).


Chapter published: 30-08-2016


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