6. Cultural participation and consumption
Last update: October, 2013
Free entry to museums and galleries has been a major policy supporting the familiarisation of certain groups to cultural heritage assets:
- children and adolescents up to the age of 18 years;
- students of higher education institutions;
- unemployed people;
- those serving their military service;
- employees of the Ministry of Culture and of the Archaeological Receipts Fund; and
- tourist guides and journalists.
In addition, museums are free for all visitors on Sundays during the low-season. Those over the age of 65 pay a reduced price. Lower income workers and their families have access to reduced theatre tickets under a scheme operated by the Ministry of Labour. Other relevant schemes include free guides in museums, as well as free visits to museums by schools, etc.
A formal selection process granting subsidies to the entire scope of independent cultural organisations has been recently re-established adopting more transparent and rational criteria, based on an evaluation of past performance and proposed plans. The process is based on voluntary listing and submission of relevant information in an online register of cultural organisations, managed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Book publishing, theatre, music and other performing arts productions, benefit from state subsidies, not only from the Ministry of Culture but also from other ministries (e.g., in the form of bulk purchase of books for libraries, or of theatre tickets for distribution to lower income employees).
Support for the production of several feature films, short films and documentaries is provided by the Greek Film Centre. In addition, TV channels are required to provide a subsidy for the promotion of cinema, a measure adhered to in practice only by the public broadcasting corporation ERT. The production of Greek films is supported by the state through the Greek Film Centre. Distribution and screening of quality films, as well as open air cinemas, are supported through a countrywide network of municipal cinemas.
Last update: October, 2013
There has not been a comprehensive survey of cultural participation practices in Greece, and academic research in this area is sorely lacking. Quantitative information is therefore partial, inconsistent and anecdotal, and not amenable to be presented in tabular form for fear of misinterpretation.
Figures concerning attendance at state-owned (mostly archaeological) museums and archaeological sites are presented in the following table:
Table 4: Attendance at museums and archaeological sites, 2006 and 2010
|Archaeological sites and monuments||7 516 665||5 547 053|
|Museums||2 795 465||3 136 779|
Source: National Statistical Service of Greece, Admissions to museums by month, 2006, 2011; idem, Admissions to archaeological sites by month, 2006, 2011.
The slight increase in visitor attendance for museums is clearly due to the opening of the new Acropolis Museum, which attracted 1 355 890 visitors in 2010; remaining archaeological museums show a disappointing decrease in visitor numbers, in tandem with the decrease in the attendance at archaeological sites and monuments shown above. The majority of visits are to archaeological sites of national importance such as the Acropolis of Athens, Knossos, Olympia, Lindos, Delphi and Epidaurus, and major museums such as the new Acropolis Museum, the National Archaeological Museum of Athens and the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. These numbers do not include the attendance for non-state museums, such as the Benaki Museum or the Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art.
The special Eurobarometer survey had found out (2007) that, within 12 months, 71% of Greeks attended a cultural programme on TV or radio at least once; 59% read a book; 46% have been to the cinema; 33% visited a monument or site; 30% have been to the theatre; 25% visited a museum (almost twice as many as in the 2002 survey); 21% have been to a concert; 15% visited a library; and, 12% have been to the ballet or opera. In addition, according to the Eurobarometer cultural values survey (2007), while non-professional Internet use in Greece is rather low at 29%, 35% of those who use it report using the Internet for information on cultural products and events, 28% for visiting museum, library or other educational websites; yet only 11% for buying cultural products such as books, CD / DVDs and theatre tickets online.
It is notable, nevertheless, that, according to the same source (2007), 61% of Greeks do not take part in any kind of active cultural participation (in the form of some amateur activity in the arts and culture taken in the broadest sense, including gardening and home improvement work). On the other side, 18% report that they had participated in dance in the last 12 months, 16% that in photography or film, 11% in singing, 7% had played a musical instrument, 4% had written something creative (a text, a poem, etc.), and only 1% had acted.
Please find the available information on this subject in 6.2.
Last update: October, 2013
Amateur arts and folk culture
Amateur arts and folk culture are supported and encouraged on the local level either through the local government or through initiatives of cultural associations and / or groups of people.
There is significant overlap between amateur and professional arts in Greece, with widespread phenomena of part-time work in the arts, moonlighting, and transition from amateur to professional status, and vice versa.
Cultural houses and community cultural clubs
There are numerous cultural associations in Greece, mostly in the field of local history and traditional culture. These are active in publishing and organising lectures and other small impact events. Many local film clubs, choral groups and literature reading groups operate on the local level.
In general, associations received some financial support from the state (since 2010 through the Register of Cultural Organisations initiative) or local government, but this support is not adequate to allow them to contribute in a significant way to cultural life. Typically, these organisations are self-funded through member contributions and money raised from different activities they organise. In some cases, cultural associations have formed the basis for the establishment of umbrella cultural organisations at local and regional level.