Public, not experts, to decide what is ‘good art’

The public, not the arts council or other experts, should be the people to decide what is ‘good art’, junior culture minister Halbe Zijlstra says in an interview with Vrij Nederland magazine.

Zijlstra is planning to make visitor numbers an important criterium in his plans for the arts and culture sector. ‘Otherwise it will be up to a small group to decide what should be subsidised,’ the junior minister said. ‘Art is for society and if society is not prepared to visit it, then something is fundamentally wrong.’
The new government is planning to cut €200m from arts spending over the next four years – more than 20% of the total budget. Zijlstra also plans to reform the current way of awarding subsidies.
The subsidy system does not encourage art and cultural organisations to do a good job, he says. ‘You could say at the moment that the better you do, the less subsidy you get.’

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