Germany 6 times increased its budget for the purchase of art

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Minister of Culture Monica Grütters

In order to support the country’s art market, galleries, and artists, the fund for the state purchase of works of art has been increased from € 500,000 to € 3 million.

On Monday it became known that the German authorities have taken the next step towards saving and supporting the country’s art industry. The Minister of Culture of Germany Monica Grütters announced at a special press conference that the state budget for the purchase of works of art by contemporary German artists this year would be increased 6 times, from € 500,000 ($ 585,000) to € 3 million ($ 3, 5 million).

As part of the Neustart Kultur program (literally – “New start for culture”), the country’s authorities, under the leadership of a special procurement commission, plan to purchase 150 works of contemporary art at art fairs, galleries and directly from artists by the end of this year.

Separately, it is noted that the funds allocated for the purchase of art are additional state assistance in addition to the already announced allocation of € 1 billion for the restart of the country’s cultural sector after quarantine. All acquired works will become part of the so-called State Art Collection, which currently contains about 1,700 items. Items from the State Collection can be provided upon request to various art institutions for organizing exhibition projects, as well as used to decorate the spaces of various state institutions.

Grütters said that by increasing the purchase budget in such a short timeframe, they allow the State Art Collection to provide artists with the opportunity to restore their creative pursuits even in the current difficult situation. Small galleries and artists will directly benefit from the increased purchases and will be able to receive support in the form of sales of works directly from the studio.

The only condition for participation in the public procurement program is the fact that a work of art must be selected by a special commission, the composition of which changes every five years. In other words, neither the artist nor the gallery will be able to apply for participation, and the cost of each work should not exceed € 20 thousand ($ 23.4 thousand).

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