French Culture Minister Quits Over Funding Cuts

Aurélie Filippetti Photo: Didier Plowy/Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication
Aurélie Filippetti Photo: Didier Plowy/Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication


France’s Minister of Culture, Aurélie Filippetti, effectively resigned from her post on Monday. In an open letter to President François Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls, she said that she did not wish to be considered for a future ministerial position, Le Figaro reports. The move comes amid a general crisis within the French government: earlier on Monday, Hollande asked Valls to form a new government, a second major reshuffle for the country in less than five months, following consistent criticism of Hollande’s regime.

In Filippetti’s fairly scathing announcement of her wish to leave the post, she says has been forced to chose loyalty to her ideals rather than to the government. She cites an “unprecedented decline in the budget of the Ministry of Culture,” as one of the principle reasons she is no longer able to participate in French government.

Filippetti campaigned aggressively for François Hollande in the lead up to the 2012 election and argued for Valls to replace Jean-Marc Ayrault. However, she, along with other ministers such as Arnaud Montebourg and Benoît Hamon, have become disillusioned with the regime following a recent rightward turn in the socialist Hollande’s policies. She reportedly went as far as to sarcastically ask in a cabinet meeting last Thursday whether it was necessary for the regime to apologize publicly for its leftist views.

Public opinion of Filippetti has been generally favorable. However, she was criticized for ongoing issues surrounding the refurbishment of the Musée Picasso, which is currently €30 million over budget and delayed by 10 months (“Musée Picasso Reopening Delayed… Again“). Recent cuts to government income subsidies and benefits to workers in cultural fields (l’intermittence du spectacle) also caused her to come under fire (“Protesters and Unions Occupy Drawing Now Paris Location, Causing Delays“).

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