Serbian Musicians Demand Higher Arts Funding

Classic Arts News   Serbian Musicians Demand Higher Arts Funding
The Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra protested poor funding for Serbia's state-run cultural institutions late last week, playing funeral marches in front of government headquarters in downtown Belgrade, the Associated Press reports.

Protests took place across the city, where many arts institutions stayed closed due to employee strikes. Artists, musicians, dancers, and actors, along with employees from cultural institutions such as the National Museum and National Library, charged the government with failing to support those institutions.

According to the AP, the protesters want an 8.5 percent increase to salaries that average $210 per month, but Finance Minister Mladjan Dinkic has said that only a 2 percent increase will be allowed. Several artist groups joined the protest to demand lower freelance taxes, which currently cost artists and authors up to 95 percent of royalties.

A committee of protesters met with Serbian Culture Minister Dragan Kojadinovic, to no apparent result.

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