Warning of contention over flood-region subsidies
Both German critics' associations have appealed to the Federal Government to allow the Federal Cultural Foundation to function temporarily as a "cultural crisis headquarters" for art and cultural facilities damaged by the flooding.
Today in Cologne and Berlin, the German section of the International Art Critics' Association (AICA) and the Association of German Critics e.V. published a joint statement on the dramatic situation that exists especially for Dresden's art, theater and cultural sites. It states that the 2 million € from the Federal Cultural Foundation and the further 3 million € from the current budget, which was made available upon suggestion of State Minister Julian Nida-Rümelin, can at most be understood as a "first step" towards truly effective relief. The critics' associations challenge the Federal Cultural Foundation to view itself as a motor for the organization of a comprehensive relief action and to work towards securing the involvement of the individual states' cultural foundations, entrepreneurs and -as is available- of foreign partners, as well.
In any case, in order to avoid conflicts over the funds currently coming in from the private sector, a separate donation budget for the endangered or already destroyed cultural facilities in the flood regions is preferable.
The critics' associations express their sincere respect for the coworkers of the Dresden State Art Collections and other helpers, for their exemplary rescue operation of several thousand artworks under extremely difficult conditions.
Cologne / Berlin, 20.08.2002
Walter Vitt, President of the German AICA, Cologne
Dieter Schnabel, Chairman of the Association of German Critics e.V., Berlin