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‘Imagine having to go to Dijon to visit the Louvre’

12 December 2007 - Amsterdam does not get fifty percent of the national subsidies for culture, but only 7.5%, alderwoman Carolien Gehrels (PvdA) told de Volkskrant. A provincial lobby is trying to get a share of Amsterdam’s subsidies, but the Amsterdam PvdA strikes back.

In response to the provincial lobby, MPs John Leerdam (PvdA) and Nicolien van Vroonhoven (CDA) have presented motions asking for a more balanced geographical distribution of culture subsidies. The motions will be discussed on Monday and are likely to get majority support.

Gehrels argues that the provincial lobby is using faulty data. For example, it would count subsidies for the literature and film foundations as subsidies allocated to Amsterdam. However, these institutes are located in Amsterdam but spend their money throughout the country.

In addition, Gehrels argues that it is logical that a larger share of subsidies goes to Amsterdam: “Just accept that cities are the focal point of culture and be happy that we have such high quality”. Council member Anne Graumans (PvdA) agrees that cultural institutions belong in Amsterdam: “Imagine having to go to Dijon to visit the Louvre”.

Volkskrant, Graumans (both in Dutch). Illustration: Stadsschouwburg (photo ATCB)


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