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Yearly Review of Slovene Culture in 1996

Ljubljana, 26 December - CULTURE/YEAR/1996/REVIEW
It is certain that 1996 offered more culture in terms of quantity; however, if Slovenia is serious about joining European cultural trends, 1996 will be remembered mainly as a year of insights and considerations concerning crucial and urgent decisions to be made in the national cultural policy. Over the years after independence, cultural policy consciously shook off interventions in the contents of artistic creativity, limiting itself strictly to providing artists with suitable working conditions, and to tasks of preserving national heritage. The Slovene democratic cultural policy often expressed pride on this achievement. However, the debate on Slovenia's post-war cultural policy before the Council of Europe - providing an opportunity to take a look in the "European mirror", confronting policy makers with wider views - brought some realism into the newly won pride and self-consciousness. European experts praised the comprehensive presentation of the Slovenia's cultural policy, expressing sincere astonishment at the amount and quality of culture possessed by such a small nation, but they were also surprised at the fact that the transition to democracy and market economy caused no unemployment, wondered why the state funds institutions instead of their programs, stressed the lack of support for "uninstitutionalized" culture, etc. Cultural workers and policy makers welcomed the findings of the Strassbourg debate as they provided them with clearer guidelines for future work, which, they said, would present them with far more demanding and longlasting tasks then was the preparation of the two-year report. These will also present one of the major long-term tasks to be handled by the new Minister of Culture, successor to incumbent minister Janez Dular and Sergij Pelhan before him.

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© STA, 1996