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Liechtenstein/ 2. General objectives and principles of cultural policy  

2.1 Main features of the current cultural policy model

The cultural activities in a small country are dependent on an exchange with the world beyond its own borders. Cultural foreign policy both regionally and internationally is a high priority in Liechtenstein. Culture is deemed to be a means toward integration and European dialogue. With their "cultural diplomacy", the diplomatic representatives contribute to Liechtenstein's international prestige. The government's mission statement regarding cultural goals formulated in 1995 and confirmed in 2000 is currently being refined and systemically implemented. Liechtenstein is reinforcing its engagement as indicated by its recent 2008 Cultural Promotion Act and the newly established Liechtenstein Cultural Foundation.

Culture being an integral part of the national identity, it is, at the same time, an expression of a sophisticated broad-mindedness. Cultural activities designed and enjoyed by the numerous elements comprising society are characterised by an extraordinary sense of diversity worthy of promotion. One standing goal is to cultivate cultural assets. Another is to enable every citizen to engage in discourse with the testimonies of his or her own culture as well as foreign cultures, to experience these testimonies not only as a segment of his or her own history but of human creative power as a whole. The state guarantees the requisite liberal framework, nurtures the cultural environment and actively complements private art and cultural promotion.

A key element in Liechtenstein's cultural policy is the principle of subsidiarity, which stimulates and encourages private initiative. Even the major cultural institutions such as the Music School, the theatre and various cultural societies owe their current existence to the initiative of small groups. The state becomes involved when cultural activities are facilitated through additional funding and personal engagement, primarily to render exhibits or constructions possible. Many actors and numerous forms of cooperation play their part in the national model. The country's eleven municipalities contribute to the promotion of culture through the principle of subsidiarity. Patrons and sponsors are one category of guarantor for the wide variety of cultural projects within the country. For instance, Liechtenstein's capital Vaduz has awarded the Josef Gabriel von Rheinberger Prize since 1976.

The Liechtenstein composer and music educator attained international standing in the second half of the 19th century. Since 2003, the International Josef Gabriel Rheinberger Society has promoted and disseminated his extensive work throughout Europe. On the occasion of the 175th birthday of the Late Romantic composer, a special exhibition in the Liechtenstein National Museum commemorated Rheinberger's extensive correspondence with musicians, composers, publishers, painters, and poets. Since 2014, the extensive Rheinberger music documentation – including first editions of musical scores – has been available in the Liechtenstein National Archives. This was a gift from the Harald Wanger family, in honour of the long-time collector and director of the Rheinberger Archive in Vaduz who died in 2011.

With its collections, the Princely House makes a special contribution to cultural life in Liechtenstein and especially also in Vienna. Businesses in the export and financial industry also dedicate funds to the promotion of culture. For instance, they build up collections and promote cultural projects in Liechtenstein and abroad. Since 2011, the Liechtenstein National Museum has been the home of the Adulf Peter Goop Private Collection, which includes a collection of more than 2 300 Easter eggs unlike any other in the world, such as numerous one-of-a-kind Russian masterpieces including from the world-famous Fabergé workshops in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Chapter published: 12-11-2014

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