The German federal government could almost open a new special Covid-19 museum. Culture Minister Monika Grütters announced Monday that the country will increase its contemporary art acquisition budget by 600% this year. It goes from 500,000 euros to 3 million euros, a record for the country.
"By increasing the short-term purchasing budget, we allow the Federal Art Collection to provide a rapid and effective impetus to relaunch artistic production in the current difficult situation" , explains Monika Grütters in a press release. “The smaller galleries in particular should benefit from the wide distribution of purchases,” she continues.
The government plans to buy around 150 works at fairs, galleries or directly from German artists.
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On the other hand, artists and galleries cannot apply for these acquisitions and the works cannot be purchased for more than 20,000 euros each, specifies Artnet news . An independent commission made up of representatives from four German contemporary art museums (including the Kunstmuseum in Stuttgart and the Hamburger Bhahnof), will recommend pieces for purchase.
Usually, this commission travels to art fairs in Berlin, Cologne or Basel (Switzerland) to unearth treasures, but as most events are canceled or postponed this year, they will contact galleries or artists directly. The German Federal Collection comprises 1,700 works, on loan to museums, ministries and government buildings.
1 billion euros for Culture
This project is part of the “Culture new start”, a vast rescue plan of one billion euros distributed by the German federal government to the cultural sector. “This represents almost exactly half of our annual budget , ” said Monika Grütters in a press release. The plan will irrigate the entire estate, from cinemas to theaters, including museums and music festivals.
250 million euros will be reserved for the preparation of the reopening of cultural institutions, in compliance with health measures and distancing rules and 150 million euros will be used to promote alternative offers, especially digital ones.