France is following the lead of the U.K. and Netherlands by allocating substantial relief to ailing cultural institutions. The country’s lawmakers have announced a €2 billion cultural recovery plan in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The aid package follows a similar one to the tune of €856 million allocated earlier in 2020. Of the €2 billion total, €614 million will go towards restoration of heritage sites with €220 million allocated for live entertainment venues and €426 million for artists, according to a French government press release. The fund will also support organizations in the media and film, as well as publishers and audiovisual professionals.
As noted in the release, culture accounted for 2.3% of France’s GDP in 2018. The country’s 80,000 cultural institutions employed roughly 670,000 that year.
In regards to COVID-19 restrictions, French officials have taken the opposite approach to some of their neighbors. Shortly after Spain and Italy reinstated event bans, France eliminated social distancing measures for events under 5,000.
More information on France’s cultural recovery plan can be found in the government press release.
Image credit: Alexander Popov