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NEWS BRIEFS

Slovaks ignorant, says minister

RUDOLF Chmel, the Slovak Culture Minister, wants to triple the state's spending in the cultural sector by 2010 from the current level of 0.6 percent of GDP. According to the minister, cultural activities in Slovakia are "in a state of emergency, if not at an historical low".

"Ignorance of culture is colossal; society is commercial, consumer-oriented and kitschy, and it seems this trend cannot be stopped," Chmel told the Slovak daily SME.

The Culture Ministry has prepared a new cultural policy for Slovakia. According to the Hospodárske noviny daily, the policy decentralises the cultural infrastructure, and creates a transparent system of cultural grants to support the artistic community.

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