COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Slovakia/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.2 Heritage issues and policies

The Ministry of Culture provides protection, renewal, restoration, exploitation and presentation of cultural heritage, in particular for:

  • cultural monuments;
  • museum and gallery collection funds;
  • library funds;
  • traditional folk culture; and
  • observatories.

The priorities of culture policy in the area of protection, renewal, exploitation and presentation of cultural monuments are, in particular: 

  • creation of the legislative environment by implementation of Act no. 49/2002 Coll. on Protection of Cultural Monuments as well as by Amendments to the Legislation on Territorial Planning and the Building Code;
  • emphasis on the protection of cultural monuments as economic development potential(tourism, services, accommodation and others) with a favourable effect on employment development, especially in the area of small and medium sized enterprises;
  • a change from the restrictive model of Monument conservation to the motivation-development model (system of discounts provided to owners of Monument objects, a support grant programme "Renewing Our House", preparation of multi-sourced financing for the protection and renewal of cultural monuments);
  • increasing the quality of specialist preparation and performance of state administration in the area of protection of cultural monuments by the activity of bodies of specialised state administration- Monuments Board and regional Monuments Boards;
  • increasing the quality of identifying, recording, documenting, protecting and presenting cultural monuments, with emphasis on implementing modern computer and information technologies;
  • intensive cooperation with foreign and international government and non-government organisations, with emphasis on the activities of European institutions(Council of Europe, UNESCO, ICOMOS and so on), including the ratification of international documents and agreements valid in the area of protection of cultural monuments and cultural heritage; and
  • increasing the quality of school and out-of-school training and education; improving information; advertising and publication activities, with concentration on the preservation and presentation of cultural monuments.

Act no. 49/2002 Coll. on Protection of Cultural Monuments (Monument Fund) came into effect on 1 April 2002. Apart from the provisions on the preservation, renewal and exploitation of national cultural Monuments and Monument areas, the Act stipulates the bodies of specialised state administration, which are, along with the Ministry of Culture, the Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic (http://www.pamiatky.sk) and its organisation units - regional monuments boards. The performance of culture policy in the area of monument care in Slovakia thus gained an integrated and specialist coordinated model. The Ministry of Culture is also responsible for state monument inspection.

The Monument Board (founded on 1 January 1951, as the Monument Institute) is a state budgetary organisation and is a body of state administration for the protection of cultural monuments. It carries out the following tasks:

  • in administrative proceedings, it decides on the matters conferred to it by the Act in the section on protection of cultural monuments (monument fund);
  • it performs state administration in the section on protection of cultural monuments, in the second degree, and, in the first degree, through the regional monument boards;
  • it solves and coordinates specialist and research tasks and works out the theory and methodology of protection of cultural monuments;
  • it fulfils the function of administrator of the relevant part of the state information system;
  • it keeps special archives in the area of protection of the Monument Fund;
  • it keeps a Central Register of cultural monuments;
  • it secures the development of the theory and methodology of restoration; and builds up the analytic-technological workplace and laboratory;
  • it secures research and restoration work for endangered cultural monuments;
  • it performs and coordinates documentation, educational, training, editorial and publicity activities;
  • it provides specialist and methodical aid to regional monument boards;
  • it cooperates with civil organisations and foundations established for the preservation, exploitation and presentation of the Monument Fund; and
  • takes part in international projects for the protection and renewal of cultural monuments and monument territories, and cooperates with international organisations and partner organisations abroad.

In the area of museums and galleries, the Ministry of Culture, under Act no. 115/1998 Coll. on Museums and Galleries and on the Protection ofbjects of Museum and Gallery Value, undertakes the following roles and activities:

  • creates the legal and organisational conditions for securing and developing museums and galleries;
  • keeps a Register of museums and galleries and, after the closing down of museums and galleries, removes them from the register of museums and galleries within 30 days;
  • ensures inspection and state specialist supervision of adherence with Act no.115/1998 Coll., as part of the culture heritage of the state;
  • separately keeps a Register of objectsof museum and gallery value, advises on the handling of collections of objects from amuseum or gallery that is going to be shut down; and
  • advises on the temporary export of a collection of museum and gallery objects, as well as the permanent export of objectsofmuseum and gallery value abroad.

In December 2006, the government approved the Strategy for Development of Museums and Galleries in the Slovak Republic until 2011 (Stratégiu rozvoja múzeí a galérií v Slovenskej republiky do roku 2011), which defines the special position of museums and galleries in the development of society. The strategy notes a marked disproportion between the public interest (development needs of objectsofmuseums and galleries) and the possibilities for its realisation (long-term shortage of public resources for this development). On the basis of an analysis of the current situation, these priority strategies were determined for the development of museums and galleries in the coming period:

  • improving the state of administration and care of the moveable cultural heritage;
  • implementation of new informationisation technologies to the basic activities of museums and galleries (digitalisation of the cultural heritage);
  • development of human resources; and
  • revitalisation of the presentation activities, with emphasis on educative and training activities.

In the area of libraries, the Ministry of Culture, under Act no. 183/2000 Coll. on Libraries, creates the legislative, legal, institutional, financial and specialist conditions for library development, in particular it:

  • administers and coordinates the performance of state administration in the area of libraries and protection of historic library documents;
  • creates the conditions for informatisation of libraries and their connection to the state information system;
  • keeps a register of libraries and performs state statistical records of libraries;
  • controls adherence to Act no. 183/2000 Coll. on Libraries and generally binding legal regulations;
  • declares and cancels the announcement of a document or file of library documents as historic library documents or historic library fund;
  • grants consent for the temporary export of a historic library document or historic library fund;
  • submits, to the government, a request for consent for the permanent export of a historic library document or historic library fund;
  • grants consent for the temporary export of a historic library document or historic library fund; and
  • issues a binding standpoint on the closing down or merging of libraries.

In November 2007, the government approved the Strategy for Development of Slovak Libraries in the years 2008-2013 (Stratégiu rozvoja slovenského knihovníctva na roky 2008 -2013). The strategy defines the special status of the library system in preserving the cultural heritage and in the development of the knowledge society in a Slovak and international context. The current state of libraries in the Slovak Republic and the quality of library / information services are not satisfactory and do not correspond to European trends, according to the findings. The continual decline of public expenditure for the activities and acquisitions of the funds, and the reduction in the number of specialist employees is limiting the library system's ability to maintain public interest and to provide quality library / information services. The result is the complete or partial resignation to the number of tasks and library activities. The strategy specifies the development of libraries as a necessary condition for the development of the knowledge society and the protection of the national and European cultural heritage. The Strategy defines the following priority strategic goals:

  • meeting the cultural, informational, educational and scientific research needs of users, and development of library / information services; and
  • protection and preservation of the cultural and scientific heritage and Slovak literature.

Within the priority goals, it is necessary to realise the following strategic tasks:

  • informatisation of libraries;
  • securing information sources for libraries;
  • library / information services;
  • creation, conservation and dissemination of digitalised cultural and scientific heritage;
  • conservation of the historic library funds;
  • development of human resources and continuing education of library employees;
  • support for lifelong learning and increasing the literacy of users; and
  • construction and reconstruction of libraries; protection of the Library Fund.

The competences of the Ministry of Culture and the activities of organisations in its organisational activity (Monuments Board, most significant museums, galleries, libraries - see chapter 3.2) are a sufficient guarantee of the integrated approach in the culture policy for the area of cultural heritage.

The Ministry of Culture provides support for projects of protection and renewal of the cultural heritage from its budget, by a contribution for the activities of the organisations in its authority, as well as by separate grant programmes:

  • Renewing Our House - a programme for the renewal of cultural monuments and for the support of publication activities and cultural policy activities in the area of protection of cultural monuments (the budget for 2007 is 107.8 million SKK, about 3.15 million euro);
  • Culture activities in the area of monument institutions- programme for the support of museums, galleries and libraries for the acquisition of collection objects (the budget for 2007 is 25.1 million SKK, about 734000 euro); and
  • Intangible cultural heritage and cultural / public education activity - programme for the support of tours, festivals, competitions, educational activities, research and publicity activities in the area of intangible cultural heritage (the budget for 2007 is 23.3 million SKK, about 681000 euro).

In the area of conservation and renewal of the audiovisual heritage, the government, on 17 May 2006, approved the Project of Systematic Renewal of the Audiovisual Heritageof the Slovak Republic (Projekt systematickej obnovy audiovizuálneho dedičstva Slovenskej Republiky). The basic intention of the long-term project is the preservation of cinematic and audiovisual works and their distribution to the public. The aim of the project is, in conformity with international standards and agreements, to create the conditions for the protection and renewal of the audiovisual heritage of the Slovak Republic, its preservation for future generations and its systematic distribution to the public. The project should be executed in single stages until 2020 . The specialist guarantor of the project is the Slovak Film Institute (member of the International Federation of Film Archives, FIAF) and the average annual budget for the activities associated with the execution of the project is approximately 1.5 million EUR.

For more information, see
European Heritage Network: Country profile of Slovakia


Chapter published: 03-07-2015

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