Berlin votes more money for the arts

Berlin votes more money for the arts


norman lebrecht

November 13, 2013

They’re not saying how much more, but the city coalition and the federal government have reached amicable agreement on a boost to culture – especially better social conditions for artists, film funding and building renovations. The deal will be the swansong of the brilliant culture minister, Bernd Neumann, who is heading for retirement next year at 72 after a Cabinet career of powerful advocacy for the arts. Where will we find another Bernd?

bernd neumann


  • Eleanor says:

    Berlin is lucky. They have not only Federal Culture Minister Bernd Neumann but a superb Secretary for Culture of the State of Berlin – André Schmitz. He’d be a worthy successor!

    • Simon says:

      Schmitz won’t be the successor. Since the Federal Minister for Culture is not a full cabinet minister but a junior minister (“Staatsminister”) in the Chancellor’s Office, only candidates from the chancellor’s party will be considered, and Schmitz is a social democrat.

      By the way, it is worth noting that Neumann was looked at with considerable mistrust by Germany’s cultural establishment when he came into office. He was regarded rather as a career politician without merits in the field of culture who had to be given an office in government. (His predecessors had been a professsor of philosophy, a publisher and journalist and a former state-level culture minister.) Well, it tunred out that not only he took his new job seriously but his condition as career politician with excellent connections helped him a lot in his achievements for culture in Germany. Let’s hope for a worthy successor indeed.

  • Everyone else in Europe, please take note.

    • Not only in Europe, everyone else in the other federal states of Germany should take note as well.

      • Simon says:

        I wouldn’t say so. The other states are rather angry about what they percieve as a priviledged treatment for Berlin. Despite culture being theoretically a state matter, the federal goverment spends more for Berlin’s culture than the city-state’s government, which is constantly close to bankruptcy despite recieving high subsidies not only form the federal government but also from the other states