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11 Dec, 2020 16:52

Covid-19: French Minister says decision not to reopen theatres and museums ‘a true heartbreak’ & pledges more funding

Covid-19: French Minister says decision not to reopen theatres and museums ‘a true heartbreak’ & pledges more funding

The French Culture Minister has said that she is heartbroken by the decision not to reopen cultural venues next Tuesday as planned, due to the prolonging of Covid-19 restrictions.

Speaking on Friday, French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot pledged an additional €35 million to bail out France’s ailing culture sector in light of the government’s decision not to reopen theatres and museums next week.

Bachelot told BFM TV that Prime Minister Jean Castex’s decision to postpone the reopening was “a true heartbreak.”

“But if we had reopened on 15 December and shut down again in January, that would have killed the cultural sector,” she added.

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The sector was scheduled to be revitalized next Tuesday, when France will incrementally open up again, following a tough, month-long lockdown.

“I told [Prime Minister Jean Castex] that we would need an extra €35 million to help the sector get through the end of the year. I know I will get that,” Bachelot said.

Castex’s government announced on Thursday that cultural venues would remain closed from December 15 amid the continued high number of new Covid-19 infections.

The PM claimed the situation had “considerably improved” since France imposed a lockdown six weeks ago, but defended a delay in easing restrictions.

On Thursday, the country registered 13,750 new infections and 292 new deaths – down from highs of 50,000 new cases a day when lockdown was imposed.

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