'Culture and catering are being sacrificed, and no one can explain why'

Open the cultural sector! The Taskforce Cultural and Creative Sector made this appeal to the new cabinet on Thursday in a press release. The industry craves an escape from the pandemic, the report says, and is ready to welcome the public again.

Also read: Cultural sector furious and full of incomprehension about proposed closure

The working group, set up at the start of the pandemic with representatives of the major cultural industry associations, calls on the cabinet for “consistent policy”. With the call, it responds to leaked intentions for easing the current lockdown, which the cabinet will probably announce at a corona press conference on Friday evening.

If it is the case that commercial transfer locations such as large department stores are allowed to open again next week, then also open cultural transfer locations such as museums, says the Taskforce. If gyms are allowed to open again, active art and culture will also be possible again, according to the working group. And now that education has been open again since Monday, cultural education at art centers, music schools and folk universities is also possible again.

The Taskforce asks the cabinet for a different policy reflex: ‘no longer ‘close’ but ‘stay open safely’. What is needed, is stated in the call, are predictable and insightful corona measures, whereby it is clear at which risk stages which measures come into effect. And also a direct link of corona measures to financial support for all those involved in the cultural sector.

Also read this profile of the new Secretary of State for Culture and Media, Gunay Uslu: ‘Macher’ puts charm in discipline

On social media, many culture makers and enthusiasts reacted angrily on Thursday to the cabinet’s intention to reopen shops and to leave the culture sector locked. Musician and television producer Raven van Dorst tweeted: “Buying shirts from Bangladesh is more important than a bite of Dutch culture?”

Actrice Carine Crutzen reported: „On appointment to a shop, the gym, the hairdresser, why not by appointment to the theater, cinema or restaurant? Randomness reigns, culture and hospitality are sacrificed and NO ONE can explain why.”

“Culture is really dirty for policy makers in this country,” tweeted columnist and television producer Özcan Akyol. Publicist and program maker Jelle Brandt Corstius know why culture makers in The Hague get so little done: “It’s a shame that nobody in the culture sector has a tractor.”

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