Minister Paleologu: 0.2 pct of GDP earmarked for Culture, simply ridiculous

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Minister of Culture Theodor Paleologu, present on Monday, at Cotroceni Palace, on the occasion of the launch of the report worked out by the Presidential commission for built heritage, historical and natural sites, stated there is structural problems with the system in charge with the heritage, but also that the GDP allocated percentage for culture is very small, by comparison to other European states.

„It is about tiny budget allocations for culture. It is normal that in a crisis year this cannot be changed, but we must be aware that 0.2 percent of the GDP allocated to culture are not insufficient, but simply ridiculous by comparison to the Czech Republic, with 0.7 percent, France – 0.8 percent, without talking about Austria or other European Union countries.

It is a fantastic discrepancy between the budget allocations and the importance of this field. The issue is an old one, not only 2009-related”, the Minister emphasized.
As well, as regards the Presidential Commission’s report, he voiced hope that it will generate a solid political support, so that the document will be assumed by the entire political class, by specialists in the field, local authorities and the Church.

„It is a question of national interest and that is why we must have a national pact in this field, as very fairly was done in the field of education. Another significant aspect I wish to stress is the linkage between patriotism and heritage because it is in vain to drum up how formidable we are, if we fail to care for our heritage”, said Paleologu.

The Minister of Culture added that he considers the Presidential Commission’s report as a guide, even prior to being made public.
He said that he had a success series in line with the report’s proposals, exemplifying to this end the elimination of emergency declassification.

As well, he informed that the ministry works out a series of amendments to Law 422, namely harsher sanctions, publicity limits in protected zones, support for those holding historical monuments.
At the same time, the Minister signaled a staff deficit, pointing out that there are just seven people in the Ministry of Culture dealing with the heritage issues nationwide.

„It is absolutely infinitesimal. 70 would be a minimum, as to realize the amplitude of this issue (…). I think we also very much need expertise from abroad to fill in these gaps”, underscored Paleologu.

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