Criticism in Iceland after Arts funding halved

Criticism in Iceland after Arts funding halvedIceland’s parliament has approved a proposal that would halve the budget it funds for the arts project’s national body, Mynlistarsjodur.

In 2013, Myndlistarsjodur received 45m krona from the government, but that figure is set to me no more than 25m in the future.

A group of well-known Icelandic artists, which includes high-profile figures such as Ragnar Kjartansson, Erro and Katrin Sigurdardottir, delivered a letter of protest to the government, which strongly criticised the cuts and requested that the budged was raised to 50m krona. The figure proposed equates to roughly 320,000 euros, which would work out at around one euro per Icelander.

The Icelandic artists have received support from their Swedish and Danish counterparts Konstnarernas Riksorganisation and Billedkunstnernes Forbund, who have the country’s parliament to reconsider the cuts and not reduce the budget any further.

Launched in 2009, the funding body came to the fore in the midst of the recession, when the minister of culture was Katrin Jakobsdottir. However, Jakobsdottir has said that there was no little need to cut spending, and that the Myndkistarsjodur fund was not so large, while over the years the group has helped make Icelandic art become renowned on an international level.