PM hails culture as ‘essential’ as sector budget increased 13%

  • ECO News
  • 26 October 2018

The Portuguese Prime-Minister claimed this Thursday that investment in culture is vital, and wants to "boost artistic creation".Ministry of Culture's funding increases to a total of €244.8m.

Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, claimed on Thursday that culture was vital for the country’s development, at a time when the Socialist government is seeking approval for “the biggest budget ever seen” for the sector next year.

“Investment in culture isn’t just chic or look good,” he said. “It is essential for the country’s development and that’s why it’s necessary for this effort to continue.”

Costa was speaking on Wednesday evening in Porto, northern Portugal, during a ceremony at which two agreements were signed regarding the fate of a major collection of works by Catalan artist Joan Miró.

The 85 paintings came into the possession of the Portuguese state in 2008 after the nationalisation of failed bank BPN, after public outrage about plans to put them up for auction for sale to foreign collectors.

Costa also said that the Ministry of Culture is not “merely symbolic” and that it is necessary for the government to “boost artistic creation and also heritage.”

Graça Fonseca, the recently appointed minister for culture, welcomed the decision to keep Miró’s collection in Porto.

According to the draft state budget proposal for 2019, the main entities overseen by the Ministry of Culture are to see their funding increase in 2019, for a total of €244.8 million, up from €216.7 million in 2018 – an increase of 12.9%.