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Russia/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and debates  

4.2.1 Conceptual issues of policies for the arts

The general objectives of the state arts policies are aimed at citizens achieving full cultural rights stated in the Constitution, namely freedom of creativity and the right to participate in cultural life. Overall, the Ministry planned to allocate, for "development of the national creative potential", about 30% of its budget in 2010, 36% in 2011, and 51% in 2012 (relatively 32 730.4, 34 081.3 and 29 877.0 million RUB).

To develop theatre and music arts, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation acts according to the lines as follows:

  • expanding social partnerships and state protectionism;
  • combining state warranties and contract financing of the state social commissions;
  • developing technical facilities and equipment of the arts institutions including restoration and repair works;
  • supporting contemporary arts;
  • sustaining artistic competitions, festivals, conferences, meetings, etc. of the all-Russian and international levels; and
  • grant-giving to outstanding companies, institutions, artists, beginners, young talents, etc.

The Ministry of Culture finances new theatre performances and concert programmes, commissions and buys art works, supports domestic and foreign touring of music and theatre companies, participation in competitions, exhibitions and festivals in Russia and abroad.

The subdivision for the Arts in the draft State Programme of the Russian Federation on Development of Culture and Tourism for the period of 2013-2020 sets the aim to ensure the right of Russian citizens to participate in cultural life and will provide for:

  • preservation and development of performing arts, support to contemporary visual arts;
  • preservation and development of cinematography;
  • preservation and development of traditional folk culture and intangible heritage of the peoples of the Russian;
  • support for creative initiatives of the population, creative unions, renowned artists, cultural workers, and institutions; and
  • organisation of events dedicated to important events of Russian culture and development of cultural cooperation.

The last decade, the government turned to support contemporary innovative arts, even those shocking traditional tastes. A good example is provided by the Biennale of Modern Art in Moscow ( The support for these activities was stated in the presidential address to the Parliament (2009); that same year, the Ministry of Culture adopted a plan for organising the first national state museum of contemporary arts in Moscow. However, public antagonism towards the contemporary visual arts emerged during the exhibition of British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman at St. Petersburg's State Hermitage Museum. The city's prosecutors claimed to have received complaints about the display, which "insulted visitors' religious feelings".

Chapter published: 11-04-2013

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