At least 500 cultural workers – with the organisers claiming up to 1,000 – gathered in front of the Museum of Contemporary Arts and Ethnographic Museum in Ljubljana this Tuesday to protest against the alleged lack of responsiveness on the part of the Ministry of Culture amid the coronavirus lockdown. Specifically, they protested the end of support for the sector, and the lack of a comprehensive strategy to preserve and promote Slovenian culture, as many other European countries have.
The protesters expressed their dissatisfaction with the Ministry's work by marching in front of its headquarters, where they covered the Ministry's large windows with printed appeals of cultural organisations and individuals.
Cultural workers are suffering from the shutdown of all private venues, and thus a loss income from cinemas, concert halls, theatres and so on, as well as the ending of coronavirus aid for the self-employed, while those who usually receive support from the state – publishers, performers and the like – are also under increasing financial pressure.
Some 100,000 people work in the sector, and the organisers of the protest highlighted the fact that the nation’s culture has a significant multiplier effect on the economy, as well as playing a role in diplomacy and soft power.