Disappointing cultural sector remains shut: State Secretary
State Secretary of Culture Gunay Uslu said it was "disappointing" that museums, cinemas, and theaters have to keep their doors closed. The culture and creative sector task force, consisting of more than a hundred industry, professional and interest organizations, repeated the call to the Cabinet for more perspective. During a press conference on Friday evening, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Ernst Kuipers announced that the culture sector would remain closed for the most part.
"That is very disappointing," Jeroen Bartels said on behalf of the task force. "It should, of course, not become a competition between sectors and it is nice that kids can go back to school and that the shops are open, but we are longing to be open again. We had hope for museums when we heard that shops would open after all, but unfortunately, we are not allowed."
The culture sector will remain closed until at least January 25. The Cabinet will then reevaluate its decision. Bartels said he understands that "health comes first" but believes that there should be a better plan for the long term after two years.
The Association of Theater and Concert Hall Directors (VSCD) wanted a "long-term strategy" from the Cabinet, a spokesperson said on Thursday after it had been leaked that restrictions will not be lifted for the culture sector.
According to Rutte, it was not possible to open the culture sector because the current relaxation could lead to 80,000 infections per day. "We're going to look over the next ten days to see what we can learn further, from abroad, but also as a result of these decisions. If something can be done in ten days, the hospitality and cultural sector will have priority," Rutte stated.
Uslu has allocated three million extra euros for museums. For the time being, no extra money appears to be available for other cultural institutions.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.