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State support for the arts to be overhauled

Literature, dance, theatre and music in Switzerland will benefit from more state support thanks to wide-reaching reform of federal culture policy.

Traditionally focused on art and design, the Federal Culture Office is gearing up ahead of the new law on encouraging culture which is expected to come into force at the beginning of next year.

The law defines the strategic priorities in support of the arts based on a budget of SFr637.9 million ($765.6 million) for four years – 2012 to 2015. Already passed by the Senate, it will come before the House of Representatives in the autumn.

Cantons are responsible for culture at their own regional level, with the federal government responsible for cultural matters of national interest. Thus cultural promotion has become an established part of federal policy.

To date the Federal Culture Office has looked after the areas of cultural promotion and awareness, national heritage and the preservation of historic buildings and monuments.

It maintains the national art collections, the Swiss National Library and 11 museums including the Swiss National Museum.

The Culture Office is also active in the preservation of local character and archaeology. It supports the work of filmmakers, artists and designers and promotes the interests of the different linguistic and cultural communities. It has a staff of around 200.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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