#9 - JRL 7229
June 16, 2003
Culture Minister: Globalization threatens Russian culture
Speaking at the government council session in St. Petersburg, Culture Minister Mikhail Shvydkoi listed threats which exist for Russian culture. First of all, he considers the threat of globalisation which is occurring in all the civilized world in economics, social life, law and everyday life. According to Shvydkoi, this is a call to preserve national culture, and now in many countries for example the Czech Republic they are remembering that they are a Slavic people in order not to dissolve into European culture. Shvydkoi said that it was important to preserve the many colors of Russian culture.
Shvydkoi said the second problem is the rupture in the root of primary culture. 'A generation of artists grew up who did not walk barefoot in the grass in childhood,' he said. Shvydkoi said that it was necessary to return to a full-fledged artistic education in school. Moreover, he warned that culture could go along a commercial path because the market pressures on culture are very strong and culture has had to learn to earn money.
Shvydkoi also said that a large break exists in the financing of culture in Russia. Although the average sum spent on culture per person in Russia is USD 10 per month, some regions spend USD 67 on average while other regions spend less than USD 1. Shvydkoi said the only way to close the break was through special programs.