Government eyeing massive culture slash – The Post

Government eyeing massive culture slash

Cuts could have major impact on culture in Denmark, contends expert

The cuts could mean fewer theatre productions, shorter opening hours and fewer exhibitions and concerts (photo: iStock)
September 4th, 2015 11:03 am| by Christian W

The culture minister, Bertel Haarder, has unveiled plans to cut 8 percent of Denmark’s culture budget over the next four years.

That means about 600 million kroner less for the nation’s theatres, museums, art schools and other state-owned culture institutions.

“If these savings are taken as a broad stroke, it’s going to hurt like hell for the culture sector,” Jørn Langsted, a professor and expert in culture finance at Aarhus University, told Politiken newspaper.

“It’ll mean fewer theatre productions, shorter opening hours, fewer exhibitions at museums and fewer orchestra concerts.”

READ MORE: Iconic orchestra rises like the phoenix

A tough sell
But Haarder is adamant that the savings can occur without compromising the quality of the Danish culture life and has suggested that digitalisation could be a possible source of becoming more efficient.

“The goal is for the core activities to be exempt from a loss of quality, although it isn’t sure that it is completely possible,” said Haarder.

The Culture Ministry came under fire recently for refusing to save the DR entertainment orchestra, Underholdningsorkestret. The doomed orchestra, however, managed to survive thanks to crowdfunding donations.