The German parliament has approved a 9% increase in federal spending on culture, bringing the total budget to 1.8 billion euros. Additional funds have been allocated for the preservation and protection of heritage buildings, archival materials and memorial sites. Another priority of the budget is to increase the artistic offer and education in rural areas, says German Culture Minister Monika Grütters.
Heritage projects include the redevelopment of an abandoned department store in Görlitz that stood empty for a long time and served as the setting for Wes Anderson’s Oscar-winning 2014 film The Grand Budapest Hotel. It must be transformed into a concert hall. Other beneficiaries include a museum in Mödlareuth, a village on the former border between East Germany and West Germany that was bisected by the Iron Curtain and an impassable wall, and a former gasometer in Oberhausen which is now an industrial heritage site.
Federal funds for fine arts, literature, music and translation will be supplemented with an additional €5 million, while an additional €7.5 million has been earmarked for the purchase of works of art of national importance. Grütters has also allocated €1.5 million to help arts institutions increase their digital presence and an additional €1.5 million for archival preservation. Additional funding will also be available for Berlin institutions such as opera houses and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
“I am grateful for this signal of confidence in culture from parliamentarians,” Grütters said in a statement. “Arts and culture are more important than ever as bridge builders; culture promotes shared values and identity.