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Culturelink review, no.44/November 2004 - contents - imprint - archive

European Programme of National Cultural Policy Reviews

Cultural Policy in Cyprus

The National Report of the Cultural Policy in Cyprus, as well as the European Experts' Report on the Cultural Policy in Cyprus, were presented to the Third Plenary Session of the CDCULT in Strasbourg in September 2004.

The National Report states the aims and content of the cultural policy of Cyprus and describes its implementation up to the beginning of 2003. From March 2003, the new government has aspired to set new objectives for cultural policy, including the development of intellectual and artistic creativity of Cyprus; creation of cultural infrastructure projects of national importance; strengthening and boosting of intercultural dialogue; establishment of a Unified Cultural Authority; reformulation of the criteria for grants; promotion of Cyprus; support to cultural heritage; more democratic process of decision-making; promotion of cultural cooperation with other countries; utilization of new technologies; implementation of the principle of subsidiarity; development and support of cultural tourism; implementation of plans and programmes for the development of human capital; development of the cultural infrastructure in downgraded areas; implementation of programmes to support young talented creators, etc.

The Cyprus National Report is presented within the framework of the country's geographic, historical and religious position, while its cultural policy is presented within the legal and organizational framework, financing and decentralization issues. The work of the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture is divided into the following sectors: literature and publications; libraries; theatre; visual arts; music; dance; cinema; traditional culture; and other programmes.

Separate chapters are dedicated to cultural heritage, state archives, and audiovisual policy. Special attention is placed upon the sector of cultural tourism, which makes this report one of the few within the Council of Europe programme of National Policy reviews that embody cultural tourism as an integrative part of cultural policy.

International relations in the field of culture, as well as future challenges for cultural policy, make separate chapters of this report.

The work of the expert evaluation group focused around the following issues:

  • Policy management structural framework;
  • Contemporary cultural production/private sector practice;
  • Decentralisation issues;
  • Heritage/Tourism/Environment;
  • Cultural values/Youth.

In this way, the expert group asked for more progress in order to achieve the government's above-mentioned aim of creating a single unified authority for culture, as well as to provide the legislative support for the development of an effective overall national cultural policy.

In terms of cultural diversity and the future, special attention was paid to the education system and the media, and their better use in celebrating cultural diversity, common history and experience on the island, as well as their real impact on the construction of a positive and forward-looking identity of Cyprus within the new European Union context.

The broad engagement of society, young people in particular, in cultural activities is an important aim, which should be reflected in policy. This is also the case with engaging the island's tourism authority and independent service providers in a more cooperative relationship with heritage and culture. Special strategies need to be reconsidered as to reconcile protection and conservation of the island's heritage with the economic needs of the people living off tourism.

The presentations of both reports ended in a lively discussion and showed once again that this can be a productive and helpful programme.

For more information, please contact: Council of Europe, Cultural Policy and Action Department, Directorate General IV - Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport, F - 67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France, tel.: + 33 (0)3 88 41 26 32; fax: + 33 (0)3 88 41 37 82; e-mail: francoise.mallet@coe.int; http://www.coe.int/culture

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Council of Europe Publications within the STAGE Project

Opening the Doors: Museums in the South Caucasus
Report prepared by Timothy Mason, DGIV/CULT/STAGE(2004)12, 20 pp.

At the Crossroads: The Strategic Development of Museums in Azerbaijan
Report prepared by Timothy Mason, DGIV/CULT/STAGE(2004)13, 38 pp.

Watching from Aside: The Strategic Development of Museums in Georgia
Report prepared by Timothy Mason, DGIV/CULT/STAGE(2004)14, 38 pp.

Nearer to the Eye: The Strategic Development of Museums in Armenia Report prepared by Timothy Mason, DGIV/CULT/STAGE(2004)15, 42 pp.

Libraries in Azerbaijan. How and What Next?
Report prepared by Evgeny Kuzmin, DGIV/CULT/STAGE(2004)16, 30 pp.

Books and Publishing in Armenia: A Profile
Report prepared by Ingo Eric M. Schmidt-Braul, DGIV/CULT/STAGE (2003) 13 Def., 288 pp.

Cultural Policy and Action Department, Directorate General IV / Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport, issued six publications within the STAGE Project in 2004. The first four of them are a series dedicated to the position of museums and were produced in order to assess the museum situation and propose, on the basis of national evaluation, recommendations for a museum strategy at national level. These are: Opening the Doors: Museums in the South Caucasus; Nearer to the Eye: the Strategic Development of Museums in Armenia; At the Crossroads: the Strategic Development of Museums in Azerbaijan and Watching from Aside: the Strategic Development of Museums in Georgia. All reports were prepared by Timothy Mason.

The following two publications deal with libraries and the book sector: Libraries in Azerbaijan: How and What Next? and Books and Publishing in Armenia: A Profile.

The first, prepared by Evgeny Kuzmin, describes the current situation of libraries in Azerbaijan. It offers some general information as well as the Azerbaijani Legislation, lists and describes single libraries and underlines the Ministry of Culture's mission ending with the proposals for strategic developments.

The second publication, prepared by Ingo Eric M. Schmidt-Braul, is an extensive policy report which gives recommendations for the continuous development of a prospering Armenian book sector. The report offers the book industry profile focusing on authors and copyright issues; extensively describes the library sector in Armenia and explains the contribution of the government to the book sector. It also analyzes the environment for books.

For more information, please contact: Gesa Büttner, Cultural Policy and Action Department, Directorate of Culture and Cultural and Natural Heritage, Council of Europe, F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France, tel.: +33 3 8841 2642; fax: +33 3 8841 3782; e-mail: gesa.buttner@coe.int; http://www.coe.int