The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has a population of 415,870 (1997), and is divided into 12 administrative council units covering an area of 2,586 km2. Almost a quarter of the total population are foreign nationals. Letzeburgihs, a German-Moselle-Frankish dialect, is the spoken language, which became the country's official language in 1985. French is generally used for administrative purposes, while German is the language of commerce and the press. The standard of living is one of the highest in Europe.




2.1 Public and semi-public bodies

Responsibility for national cultural policy rests primarily with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, which comes directly under the Prime Minister. The Ministry's various departments deal with cultural heritage, audio-visual sector, literature, theatre and cabaret, music and dance, and visual and graphic arts. It is entrusted with the promotion of art and culture and with coordinating activities of the national cultural institutions.

Therefore, the Ministry coordinates the activities of the state museums, Public Records Office, the National Library, the National Archives, the Monument Protection Agency and the Centre National de l'Audiovisuel.

In the course of cultural decentralization, the Ministry has set up centres for regional cultural animation in various local communities. The main task of these centres is to develop and implement a regional cultural policy in cooperation with local communities.

In addition, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs operates two libraries on wheels, one for the north and one for the south of the country.

Other bodies involved in cultural policy work include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with regard to international cultural relations and the Ministry of Education, with the support of the Ministry of Youth Affairs. The Luxembourg Scientific Research Council also participates in cultural cooperation on the administrative level.

Advisory bodies helping to realize Luxembourg's cultural policy are the following: the National Cultural Council, established in 1980, gathers 50 members representing the ministries concerned, cultural institutions and private socio-cultural associations; the Council for National Sites and Monuments, established in 1980, is concerned with the preservation of architectural and cultural heritage (conservation and restoration policies); the Grand-Ducal Institute, a private and independent body subsidized by the state, has sections dealing with arts, literature, language, folklore, and science.

The National Cultural Fund was set up in 1982 and charged with the task of receiving, administering and using grants and gifts on behalf of public and private beneficiary institutions (the Grand-Ducal Institute, the Luxembourg University Centre, National and Communal museums, the National Library and municipal libraries, the Department of National Sites and Monuments, and other cultural societies), with a view to promoting the arts and cultural affairs.

At the local level, most towns have cultural committees.

2.2 Facilities and institutions

Luxembourg's main cultural institutions include the museums - Musée National d'Histoire et d'Art and Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle, national archives - Centre national de littérature, Bibliothèque nationale, Service des Sites et Monuments nationaux and Centre national de l'Audiovisuel.

There are three main foundations and national cultural founds - Le Fonds Culturel National, responsible for the promotion of arts and sciences, and preservation and restoration of the cultural and historical heritage, Le Fonds National de Soutien … la Promotion Audiovisuelle with the mission to promote the film and audiovisual creation and their production, coproduction and distribution, and Fondation Servais pour la Littérature luxembourgeoise.

Music education is provided by the Conservatoire de Musique de la Ville de Luxembourg, Conservatoire de Musique, and the Institut européen de chaut choral. Luxembourg also plays host to several festivals, including the Festival international d'Echternach and the Festival de Wiltz.

The Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique (S.A.C.E.M.) takes care of the authors' rights in the field of music and literature.


3.1 Financing of cultural activities

In the financing of cultural projects, Luxembourg not only relies on public funding at cultural and local levels but also on sponsorship, regulations for which were laid down in 1982.

The state budget and the budget of the city of Luxembourg amount to approximately 1 billion Luxembourgian Francs (LFR) each. In 1993, the total expenditure of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs was LFR 626.8 million.

The most of the cultural budget (28 per cent) is used for general expenditure, then follow National Museum of History and the Arts (17.6), National Library (17.2), Monument Protection Agency (14.5), Museum of History (12.1), National Archives (7.0) and National Audio-Visual Centre (4.0).

The Ministry of Cultural Affairs awards a number of prizes in various disciplines, such as literature, sculpture, and painting. Project subsidies for associations or individual artists are also granted directly by the Ministry or by the Fonds culturel national.

3.2 Legislation

The cultural policy framwork has been defined by a number of laws. In the foreground of the Luxembourgian model for promoting culture one finds the concept of cultural professionalism.

The government passed a law which gave self-employed professional artists professional recognition, and provided them with social protection, direct grants, and public commissions to the extent made by the marketplace.

A law on paid culture leave has entered into force. This leave of one year may be taken by high-ranking visual and performing artists, experts in the areas of culture, representatives of federations, unions and associations of artists who live in Luxembourg and carry out their cultural activities in addition to being self-employed or having a secondary occupation.


4.1 Cultural heritage


4.2 Cultural education and training


4.3 Performing arts


4.4 Visual and fine arts


4.5 Literature and literary production


4.6 Music



5.1 Book publishing


5.2 Press

Professional organizations within the framework of journalism are the Association des journalistes and the Union des journalistes. In 1996 the number of households with TV-sets was 147.000.

5.3 Broadcasting and sound recording industry

With regard to media policy, the Luxembourgian administration very early relied on private business initiatives in the area of broadcasting. The country did not set up a public-service radio station but rented the frequencies available to a private consortium. Since then, RTL has become and important tax generator for Luxembourg. With the creation and initiation of the Satellite consortium SES/ASTRA, also organized along private lines, and the Mediaport, Luxembourg has continued this media policy.

5.4 Cinema and film industry

The National Audio-Visual Centre is responsible for visual arts and film, while the Audio-Visual Department of the Ministry of State is responsible for broadcasting.




Being a small country, Luxembourg is particularly interested in international cooperation, and the three languages spoken in the country have led to a great number of partnerships, including cultural matters, with the neighbouring regions in France, Belgium and Germany.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is in charge of international cultural relations. These cultural relations consist of cooperation with partner states over education, science, culture, youth and sports. Within the framework of these relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports students and expert exchanges, awards scholarships, and makes grants for exhibitions and cultural projects with partner states.

Bilateral cultural agreements exist with 15 countries (mostly the European countries and China).

Luxembourg is a member of UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and the European Community.


8.1 Ministries, authorities and academies

Commission Nationale
pour la Coopération avec l'Unesco
29, rue Aldringen
L-2926 Luxembourg
Tel.: 478 5111

Conseil Supérieur des Sites
et Monuments Nationaux
92, Rue d'Anvers

Le Fonds Culturel National
Ministère des Affaires culturelles
2912 Luxembourg

Ministère des Affaires culturelles
20, montée de la Pétrusse
2912 Luxembourg
Tel: + 352 478 6606
Fax: + 352 40 2427

Ministère de la Jeunesse
26, rue Zithe
2943 Luxembourg
Tel.: 447-86410

Ministère des Affaires étrangères
5 rue Notre-Dame
2911 Luxembourg
Tel: 478 2306

Ministère de l'Education nationale
29, rue Aldringen
2926 Luxembourg
Tel.: 478-5100

Ministère du Tourisme (Tourisme culturel)
6, avenue Emile Reuter
2937 Luxembourg
Tel.: 447 84752

8.2 Central cultural institutions

Archives Nationales
Plateau du Saint-Espirit
2010 Luxembourg
Tel. 478-66-60, fax: 47 46 92

Bibliotheque Nationale
37 bd. Roosevelt
2450 Luxembourg
Tel. 226255, fax: 47 56 72

Centre national de l' Audiovisuel
5, rue de Zoufftgen
3598 Dudelange
Tel.: 52 24 241, fax: 52 06 55

Institut Grand-Ducal
21, Rue Large
1917 Luxembourg

Musée National d'Histoire et d'Art
(Musées de l'Etat)
Marché-aux-Poissons, 11, rue de la Boucherie
1247 Luxembourg
Te.: 479-3301, fax: 22 37 60

Service des Sites et Monuments Nationaux
26 rue Münster
2160 Luxembourg

8.3 Associations

Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs
et Editeurs de Musique (S.A.C.E.M.)
46, Rue Goethe
1637 Luxembourg
Tel.: 47 55 59


Cultural Policy and Cultural Administration in Europe: 42 outlines, Vienna, Österreichische Kulturdokumentation, Internationales Archiv für Kulturanalysen, 1996, pp. 113-115.

Handbook of Cultural Affairs in Europe. Baden-Baden, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 1995, pp. 385-389.

The World Almanac and Book of Facts 1997. Mahwah, New Jersey, World Alamanac Books, 1997.


* The author of this text, approved by the Commission Luxembourgeoise pour la Coopération avec l'UNESCO, is Tomislav Car. The text has been revised by Daniela Angelina Jelnicic in 1997.