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Austerity in Europe: The Impact on Art and Culture in the EU

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Last week we began to examine the impact of austerity measures on European travel this summer with a look a transportation within the EU. So after the taxi has dropped you off, if you are so lucky, will the museum be open? Or will the theater curtain rise? Find out in Charles Edward Hicks’ report on how austerity cut backs to art and culture throughout Europe have changed some established institutions and launched new counterculture movements.

Many European governments have attempted austerity by taking an anorexic approach to their arts and culture budgets. However, there are a few new developments in the European art world that travelers should recognize before heading on their long-awaited European vacations.

The Netherlands has cut government financing for arts programs by 25 percent since last year. This will leave groups like the Netherlands Theatre Institute and the Music Centre the Netherlands nonexistent come 2013.

“The Theater Instituut Nederland wanted to continue as of 2013 as Theatermuseum,” said Peter Heuseveldt, director of marketing and communications for the theater. “Unfortunately we received a negative advice from Council of Culture. This means the end of our organization as of next year. We are trying to save some activities by getting them adopted by other organizations.”

However, not all news was bad news for those looking to experience the Dutch art world this summer.

“The taxes on theater tickets were last year increased from 6 percent to 19 percent,” Heuseveldt said. “However the government fell, and the new political alliance decided to bring back the taxes to 6 percent.”

That means you will be able to get cheaper seats than expected to several of the country’s performance venues. You just might want to see some shows at the ill-fated venues while you still can. This summer will likely be your last chance to frequent them.

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