France Creates $6 Million Solidarity Fund to Help Cultural Spaces Deal with Terror Attack Aftermath

'Culture will remain proud, insolent, and free,' the French Minister of Culture said.

France’s Minister of Culture, Fleur Pellerin.Photo: via ArtForum.
France’s Minister of Culture, Fleur Pellerin.
Photo: via ArtForum.

France’s Minister of Culture, Fleur Pellerin, announced yesterday the launch of a €4 million ($6 million) solidarity fund to help theaters, concert halls, cinemas, and museums deal with the aftermath of the November 13 terror attacks in Paris, which left 129 people dead and 352 injured.

According to Pellerin, the government is contributing €3.5 million ($5.3 million) to the fund, while the remaining €500,000 ($763,000) are being donated by the organization SACEM (Société des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs de musique).

“It’s a start because I want other contributions to complement this amount,” Pellerin said at the National Assembly, according to AFP.

The Bataclan theater in Paris, site of a deadly terror attack and hostage situation. Photo: courtesy Utopia Paris.

The Bataclan theater in Paris, site of a deadly terror attack and hostage situation.
Photo: courtesy Utopia Paris.

“The government is on the side of cultural sites with a double objective: first, to ensure the protection of the public and of all cultural agents who are already back in museums and theaters,” Pellerin explained. The second objective, according to the minister, was to “anticipate difficulties faced by those working in performing arts, the most vulnerable of all because of cancellations, the decline in attendance, and the investment in security they will require,” she added.

“France will dance again, sing again, draw new cartoons and culture will remain proud, insolent, and free,” she declared, as the members of the Assembly applauded her words.

François Hollande was greeted by UNESCO president Irina Bokova. Photo: Irina Bokova (@iriniabokova) via Twitter

François Hollande was greeted by UNESCO president Irina Bokova.
Photo: Irina Bokova (@iriniabokova) via Twitter.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, during an UNESCO conference in Paris, French president François Hollande announced plans to grant “asylum” to art and archeological treasures at risk of being destroyed by ISIS.

“The right to asylum applies to people […] but asylum also applies to works, world heritage,” Hollande said, adding that France would adopt the UN Security Council resolutions banning the import, transit, and trade of illicit antiquities, while tightening up customs checks on its borders to identify smuggled illicit antiquities.


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