Arts Budget Cuts Protest, Den Haag NL

09Oct10

One of the reasons I was so keen to relocate to the Netherlands (other than the obvious for those that know me – link) was to take advantage of a very supportive and experimental arts scene. For centuries, the Netherlands has enjoyed a cultural sector that is sought-after in many other countries in Europe and beyond. Predictably, with the global economic downturn and the election of a ramshackle right-wing government in the Netherlands, excuses have been made to cut the arts budget by approximately 20-25% (depending on your source) of what it enjoyed in the past. According to SICA, that amounts to about €200 million euro:

The culture budget will not be spared. The plans consist of a budget cut of € 200 million euros for the arts, i.e. a 20% decrease of the current state budget for culture. The cuts will be implemented in the living arts particularly, heritage and amateur arts will largely keep their budgets. Other measures effecting the cultural field include a 15 percent increase of the VAT on tickets and art purchases, the abolishment of the temporary income support for young artists and restructuring the public funding bodies into ‘investment funds’. (source)

Charlotte Higgins, writing on The Guardian’s Arts Blog, verbalises the known inevitability: “A rightwing coalition is elected, and arts cuts come (while, inevitably, defence is protected).” One of the notable victims is the MCO in Hilversum, home to three orchestras (including the biggest jazz and pop orchestra in the world) and a renowned arts library, which potentially faces closure if the cuts go ahead.

The other “inevitability” has also been proven true once again: if you attempt to cut the arts budget, you can expect loud, energetic, colourful (and at times bloody strange) protests. Hopefully the attached gallery of photographs taken at The Malieveld in Den Haag, Friday the 8th of October will communicate the level of creativity – and anger – of the protest. I assume this will be the first of many.

(If you want to use these images, please link back to this post. Higher resolution images are also available if requested)

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2 Responses to “Arts Budget Cuts Protest, Den Haag NL”


  1. 1 Verzameling berichten over verloop demonstratie 8 oktober « KunstKlimaat nl
  2. 2 Verzameling links over verloop demonstratie 8 oktober | LE SECET

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