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Costly repair works were carried out to the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Theatres in 2011.


Support for filmmaking in 2012 will be doubled from 3.73 to 8 billion RUB.

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Russia/ 6. Financing of culture  

6.1 Short overview

In 1990s, public cultural expenditure in Russia totally depended on the general state of the national economy: in 1997, state financing for culture reached only 12% of the official culture budget, which deprived many cultural projects of all financing and reduced most budgets to below the minimum level. In 1999, state financing for culture was fully allocated for the first time, though the level of approved cultural funding never correlated with the statements in the Basic Law on Culture (namely 2% of the federal budget and 6% of regional ones, with media not included). Persistent inflation also contributed to under funding of culture and arts in real terms. In the early 2000s, the federal budget allocations for culture (media excluded) were kept at the level of about 0.6%, while culture's share of regional budgets was uneven but generally about 2%.

General discussions on cultural policies resulted in two opposite proposals, namely to expand / increase the state support for cultural productions and institutions and to shorten the list of institutions, monuments, activities, etc. supported by the state. However, the Concept of Long-Term Social and Economic Development (2008–2020) adopted in 2008 previewed the general increase in budgeting culture, cinematography and mass media from 0.7% GDP in 2007 to 1.5% GDP in 2020 but the plans were impacted by the crisis.

A search for efficiency remains among the key issues in cultural funding debates and since 2004, a new model of funding - namely performance budgeting - was introduced within the general administrative reform. Another innovation proposed was a gradual transition from institutional to normative per capita funding for state and municipal services, which could be extended to the cultural sector.

Federal Target Programmes (FTPs) serve particular financial instruments to accumulate funding for special needs or activities. The "Culture of Russia" FTP for the years 2006–2010 initially cost 64.1 billion RUB; 85% of this funding (54.3 billion RUB) was to derive from the federal budget, while capital investment made up 73% of that share. Renovation of the Bolshoi Theatre, the Russian State Library, and the Moscow Conservatory, together with the Mariinsky and Alexandrinsky Theatres in St. Petersburg (five particularly valuable heritage institutes, of the 300 included in the FTP), accounted for 63% of the budgetary share of the capital investment. The Programme was extended until 2011 and its expenditure resulted in 124.65 billion RUB spent on culture, of which 112.21 billion was allocated from the federal budget. The Culture of Russia (2012-2016) Federal Target Programme, which is still under elaboration, presupposes two scenarios with slightly different funding: 122.6 billion (119.2 billion from the federal budget) or 130.6 billion RUB (125.3 billion from the federal budget).

A system of state grant-giving serves another relatively new financial instrument and swiftly developed in the 2000s (see chapter 8.1.2); it is used to support the most prominent artists, cultural institutions, higher schools, companies, orchestras, etc. and their activities. In 2006, the total of the state grants given by the federal administration was 1 857 million RUB and its share is to grow. E.g. in 2012 and 2013, relatively, 57.2 million and 60.4 million RUB will be allocated for a hundred annually awarded Presidential grants for particular projects; each year 25 million will be spent on the State Awards; 1.7. million RUB is annually planned for the Soul of Russia and the theatre Volkov Governmental Awards.

According to the estimations published, in 2012 the federal cultural budget will reach 86.2 billion RUB (1.8 billion less than in 2011). The higher amount in 2011 was a result of the costly repair works to the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Theatres in 2011. Meanwhile, for the Polytechnic and Pushkin Fine Arts Museums', reconstruction will be allocated, relatively, 450 and 3 500 million RUB and 12 billion will be spent on the Hermitage Museum jubilee.

According to the financial justifications to the new draft Law on Culture (see chapter 5.2) federal budget spending up to 2014 will be as follows:

Table 3:    Federal budget spending for culture, in million RUB, 2011-2014






% to previous year




Culture, filmmaking

87 995.4

86 201.9

84 589.1

82 710.1





78 746.4

73 668.8

75 151.8

73 054.2





5 417.0

7 184.5

7 142.2

6 948.2




Applied cultural and film research









3 511.5

4 911.8

1 856.8

2 257.2




Source:    The Draft of the Law on the Federal Budget of the Russian Federation for 2012-2014.

Chapter published: 21-02-2012

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