German Cultural Venues That Need to Beef Up Their Security Will Benefit From a New €32 Million Government Grant

Much of the money will be distributed to institutions outside the country's major cosmopolitan hubs.

An artwork at the Alte Pinakothek museum in Munich. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images.

The German government has announced that it will hand out €32 million ($38 million) this year to national cultural institutions undertaking modernization projects, including updating security systems. More than 73 cultural venues across Germany will benefit from the grant.

“Preserving our cultural infrastructure is one of the most important cultural policy goals of the federal government, especially in these times of crisis,” German culture minister Monika Grütters said in a statement. She added: “culture creates identity and cohesion.”

The funds are being directed especially at venues outside Germany’s bustling cosmopolitan hubs, and to rural parts of the country.

Security concerns at German cultural sites have been a major preoccupation in the wake of several high-profile robberies, including ones at the Green Vault in Dresden in 2019 and the Bode Museum in Berlin in 2017.

Last fall, a number of ancient artifacts were also vandalized at the Altes Museum in Berlin by an unknown perpetrator.

The Alte Pinakothek, the preeminent museum in Munich known for its significant collection of Old Master paintings, has earmarked some of the money to boost its security systems. Corvey Castle, a UNESCO world heritage site in the North Rhine-Westphalia that dates back to 844, has done the same.

Other beneficiaries include the state art collection in Düsseldorf and the Regensburg Cathedral and the Völklingen Ironworks building in the Saarland.

Museums and galleries across Germany have been closed since the beginning of November. At the beginning of this month, state leaders met virtually and decided to extend lockdown measures until the end of January at the earliest. Compensation programs are in place to help venues with losses incurred during this time.

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