CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Funding cuts in the Dutch culture sector

On 10 June last, the Dutch Secretary of Education, Culture and Science, Halbe Zijlstra, published a paper entitled More than quality: a new vision on arts policy outlining his view of the cultural policy budget cuts. The "Museums" section includes the following passage:

“I want to stimulate the establishment of several centres of excellence. With a view to the development of the Rijksmuseum, I want this institution to merge with the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD). I ask that the Rijksmuseum and the RKD incorporate plans for this in their grant applications. In this connection, and deviating from the Council for Culture’s recommendation, I will not cut the Rijksmuseum’s funding for scholarly research. I will limit the additional budget reduction of the RKD, part of the relief structure, to 10%.”

This does not mean that the Rijksmuseum and the RKD will be merged straight away. In the coming subsidy period they will be considered as two independent institutions and charged with jointly defining the scholarly function of the art museums. Both institutions agree that the content of this joint effort must be examined first, and the form it should take be determined at a later date. The RKD has also promised to involve CODART in the further development of the plans.

Part of the government funding awarded to the RKD is earmarked for CODART. Hence, as per 1 January 2013, like the RKD, CODART will be affected by an additional cut of 10% on top of the earlier generic cut of 5%. CODART is deliberating on how to deal with these necessary cutbacks.