In the early years of the Federal Republic of Germany, the federal law “Art in Buildings” was passed (January 1950) in order to promote visual artists and to bring art into public space.
This stipulated that 1%, later 2%, of the construction sum of public buildings should be spent on works by visual artists on and under construction. (In 1934, there was a decree of the same name for the Reich, the Länder and the cities). This regulation has been revised several times and is now part of the “Guidelines for the Execution of Federal Building Tasks” (RBBau K7). At the beginning of the 1990s, the 2-percent stipulation was abolished. In 2012, the “Leitfaden Kunst am Bau” was last updated.
The RBBau K7 only applies to federal buildings. The federal states have issued their own guidelines for state buildings based on this, some of them also with the designation “K7”, others with the title “Art in Public Space”. Some municipalities also have corresponding guidelines. Nevertheless, there are differences in financing, organisation, application, acquisition and the selection of artists between the federal government, the federal states and the municipalities, but also between the individual local authorities.
Further general stipulations on architecture and townscape are laid down in the Building Code and the building regulations at federal and, above all, state level.
Environmental protection and landscape conservation in general do not belong to the area of cultural and art policy in Germany, but are the responsibility of separate ministries at federal and state level and have their own legal basis. The protection and care of natural heritage and archaeological monuments in the narrower sense belong in part to the area of monument preservation and are laid down in the monument protection laws of the 16 federal states.
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