For many cultural institutions, the Law on Introduction of Improvements into Particular Legal Acts of the Russian Federation in View of Advancing the Legal Status of the State (Municipal) Institutions, which is in force from 1 January 2011 is crucial. It aimed to foster the self-dependence of the state and municipal institutions as they were to acquire more freedom both in management and the search for extra funding. The government believed that the status of an “autonomous” organisation would be very attractive for cultural institutions; however, experts expect that many (theatres, museums, etc.) will not adapt to the new situation.
The Law on Placement of Orders on Goods and Services Delivery for State and Municipal Requirements, which introduced tendering into all the activities of state funded institutions including artistic and creative ones, is also very important for cultural institutions. From 1 January 2011, e-tendering is the main method of the order placement. In the cultural sector, it has negative effects because e.g. in the bidding on production of the scenery for the new theatre performance the lowest price is to be the crucial factor, which means that in fact the artistic quality has to give way to the minimal cost notwithstanding other features of the winning proposal.
The Law on Transfer of Property of Religious Intent Owned by State or Municipality to Religious Organisations elaborated by the economic development Ministry and adopted in November 2010 was publicly debated and strongly criticised by culture professionals. The Law presupposes a simple transfer procedure of built heritage objects including those particularly valuable. Related discussions have reviled terminological lacunas in the actual legislation overall and the need to introduce juridical notions of e.g. “kremlin” (citadel) or “museum-reserve” and to define their status more exactly.