Laurent Wauquiez cuts aid to the New Generation Theater in Lyon to punish its director
The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region chaired by Laurent Wauquiez (Les Républicains, LR) has announced the total elimination…
The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region chaired by Laurent Wauquiez (Les Républicains, LR) has announced the total elimination of the annual subsidy of 149,000 euros to the New Generation Theater (TNG) in Lyon. A decision taken in retaliation for comments made by Joris Mathieu, its director, in the magazine Telerama April 20who spoke as a member of the national office of the Syndicate of artistic and cultural enterprises (Syndeac).
“We have of course heard the comments and disagreements of the director and we have chosen to withdraw all funding from this structure”justified bluntly Sophie Rotkopf, during a press conference, Friday, April 28. “How do you argue with someone who doesn’t want to argue?” He never ceases to despise the region, and through his approach he despises all the inhabitants outside the Lyon metropolis “***erted the Vice-President for Culture of the AURA region.
For Joris Mathieu, this brutal decision gives the impression of a perfect demonstration of “the culture of fear” which he denounced in his column in the weekly. According to him, the general reduction in cultural subsidies undertaken since the start of Mr. Wauquiez’s second term of office is part of a “hypercentralized governance”. “To say that we did not want to discuss is an inversion of reality. After a drop in aid without any prior consultation, the professional organizations have never been received despite their repeated requests, the decisions come through the press”***erts to World Joris Matthew.
A low cultural budgetary share
The director recalls that the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region is in penultimate position of the twelve French regions in the cultural share of its overall budget, i.e. 8.44 euros per inhabitant and per year, against 12 euros on average for regions. The annual budget devoted to culture amounts to 60.2 million in the second economic region of France. When it decided on an unprecedented reduction in regional aid to cultural institutions, the majority chaired by Mr Wauquiez put forward a desire to “territorial rebalancing”. This principle was reiterated to justify the increase of 1.3 million euros granted this year to festivals organized in the region.
“Until now, the major metropolitan artistic institutions accounted for almost 60% of the region’s culture budget, to the detriment of smaller structures and events in other territories”estimated Mme Rotkopf. After the reduction of 500,000 euros in its annual subsidy, the Lyon Opera sees the return of aid of 200,000 euros, in reward for a “decentralization of its activities”, namely local tours of shows in reduced format. “We held out a hand that the director of the opera knew how to grasp, and it is exemplary”welcomed the elected representative of Roanne. “We have sent out a message and we hope that as many people as possible understand it. It’s up to everyone to be creative »added Laurent Wauquiez, summarizing the state of mind that governs the choice of regional subsidies.
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