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Albania/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and debates  

4.2.1 Conceptual issues of policies for the arts

Public arts institutions in Albania totally rely on public subsidies, as they are not allowed by law to use box office revenues or other income, except for private sponsorship. Along with financial support comes also government control. Public officials, including department directors at MTCYS and the Parliamentary Commission on Education and Media (that deals with cultural issues also), claim they have the right to control decision-making in arts institutions, since they represent the general public and bear responsibility for better use of taxpayers' money. Independent arts organisations and individuals refer to Article 58 of the Constitution stating that: "Freedom of artistic creation and scientific research, placing in use, as well as profit from their results is guaranteed for all". They ask for total independence of bodies that decide on artistic programmes and individual projects, arguing that leaving the government controlled bodies the right to approve budgets is enough of a compromise. Examples of good practice include the National Film Centre and the "City of Arts" Programme of the Academy of Arts. In both cases, freely elected bodies approve project grants. An example of an increasing centralisation is the new Law on Arts and Culture, of 18 November 2010. Though introduced as a replacement for the never implemented 2006 Law on Performing Arts (in turn a replacement of the also never implemented Law on Theatre of 2000), the new Law sets up rules of management for all arts institutions, from theatres to art galleries, from museums and festivals to local arts agencies. According to the new Law, the so called "artistic boards" will not only be appointed by the Minister of Tourism and Culture, but will also comprise representatives of the Ministry of Finance. Not a single member will represent artists.

Chapter published: 15-04-2011

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