European funds and the cultural bonus inflate the Culture budget by 38.4 percent


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The Ministry of Culture and Sports will have in 2022 a record budget of 1,589 million euros, an increase of 38.4 percent compared to the previous year. This is the highest item allocated to this ministry since the 1,226.16 it budgeted Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in 2009. This rise is largely explained by the 356 million euros from European funds.

If the item earmarked for sports is excluded –216 million–, the total amount would remain at 1,373 million, among which are the items reserved for the cultural bonus, which will benefit half a million young people who will turn 18 in 2022, and the 197 million destined to museums and plastic arts, with an increase of 17.25 percent compared to 2021.

Despite these figures, an industry that accounts for more than 3 percent of GDP, as Minister Iceta does not stop repeating, and after the most difficult year due to the restrictions derived from the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Culture will have to settle for approximately the 0.33 percent of the total budget. Already in May, when former Minister Uribes presented the details of the European items, it was learned that the Government of Pedro Sánchez had reserved 0.75 percent of the total direct aid they expected to receive between 2021 and 2023 for Culture.

According to the department headed by Iceta, the Executive’s priority objective is “to guarantee the right of access to culture for all citizens and to contribute to promoting social cohesion.” “In development of this programmatic objective”, he adds, “the general objectives in matters of culture will revolve in 2022 around the promotion of a quality cultural offer and universal access to it, with special attention to the young public, the protection of the activity of artists and creators, the promotion of the internationalization of Spanish culture and the promotion of the development and competitiveness of the cultural and creative sector ”.

Young cultural bonus: 210 million

The most notable novelty of the budget item dedicated to Culture has to do with the youth bonus, 210 million euros from which around half a million young people who will turn 18 in 2022 will benefit. The cultural voucher will have an amount of 400 euros to spend on cultural products such as live shows, books or cinema. Bulls, a cultural heritage of Spain, will not qualify for this bonus.

Museums and plastic arts: 197 million

The Museums and Exhibitions programs have a combined endowment of 197 million euros, 17.25 percent more than last year. The Prado National Museum increases by 7 million euros its investment chapter to face the renovation works and museum adaptation of the Salón de Reinos, the Queen Sofia increases by 4 million euros its endowment for the acquisition of works of art and also increases by 11 million the endowments to finance the Thyssen Bornemisza Collection Foundation.

Performing Arts: 266 million

The music and dance, theater and film programs represent a total of 266 million euros.

The music program (113 million) will finance direct actions to boost lyrical, musical and choreographic activity, and will also include items to finance the activities of institutions such as the Royal Theater or the Lyceum.

The theater program (56 million) focuses on the dissemination of the theater and the circus, the promotion of cultural relations between the autonomous communities, and the promotion of international projection.

Inside of the cinematography program (97 million) highlights the film protection fund worth 70 million and another item of 10 million euros to support theaters, one of the major victims of capacity restrictions.

Archeology and historical heritage: 158 million

The 158 million reserved for programs related to the administration, conservation, restoration and protection of historical heritage represent an increase of 2.5 percent compared to last year. This item includes a provision of 118 million for matters managed by the Board of Directors of the National Heritage.

Libraries and archives: 84 million

From the 78 million in 2021, it goes to 84 million, 7.14 percent more, for reading, book and library programs. There will also be credits to finance works in the State Public Libraries and in the Provincial Historical Archives.

Cultural promotion: 58 million

Of all the cultural promotion programs, the 20 million stand out that will serve to «recover and intensify the sociocultural relationship of the State with the City of Barcelona as a cultural capital). These 58 million represent an increase of 3.4 percent compared to 2021.

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