Jean Bellegambe (c.1470- c.1535)
Saint Barbe, c. 1509-1513
Oil on Panel - 87 x 28.9 cm
An example of a painting recently
acquired thanks to help from the FRAM
Douai, Musée de la Chartreuse
Photo : Musée de la Chartreuse
18/9/12 - French Ministry of Culture - Budget - Apparently, we will now have to inaugurate a series of articles tentatively entitled "I promise that the cultural budget will be entirely protected during the next presidential term" (see on our French site).
In fact, a few days ago the Directions Regionales des Affaires Culturelles, an extension of the French Ministry of Culture in the country’s regions, received what is known as their "prénotification budgétaire", or advance notice of their budget allotments. Central administrative offices announce the amount of funding assigned to each budget sector planned for the following year. The DRACs then are supposed to establish a program based on these figures.
However, the planned budget amounts for the Fonds Régionaux d’Acquisition for museums have been, and this applies to every region, slashed in a drastic manner by anywhere between 50 and 60%. Given that the principle of "matching" funds means that the regions supply an equivalent sum, this results in most cases in a decrease by at least half of the acquisition budget for the FRAMs.
The budget conferences, when managing officials travel to Paris to discuss budget projects (and at times, fight them), are sure to be particularly heated this year.
Knowing the dire difficulties faced by regional museums when trying to involve city hall in any ambitious acquisitions policy, the government’s abandonment will obviously have even more serious consequences, going far beyond the already dramatic cuts.
Although the FRAMs are the most affected by this move, the budget heading which oversees notably restorations and exhibitions will also see a sharp decrease (of at least 15%). This is how François Hollande is going to keep his promise of protecting culture, by first attacking museums, while he waits to see what can be done about historical monuments.