The Minister of Culture confirmed, this Thursday, that the Statute of Professionals of Culture was approved, which will now go to public consultation, remembering that “there is still room for improvement”.
At the press conference after the Council of Ministers dedicated to the Culture sector, Graça Fonseca considered that “A historic day”, in reference to the approval of this statute, which will come into force in 2022.
“The statute for professionals in the Culture sector was approved. The statute approved today and which will now follow for public consultation is a complete statute. It has a component of professional registration, employment regime and contributory regime. It is an old claim of the sector, but not only, of all, of the whole country, because it represents a true State policy for Culture and for its professionals. For this reason, today is really a historic day ”, said the official, quoted by the online newspaper Observador.
This statute “is something that had never happened“, Reinforced the minister, saying that she will be“ capable of bringing into the social protection system many thousands of professionals in the sector who remain on the margins and who really need to be integrated ”.
Regarding the specifics of the statute, also known as the “artist’s statute”, the minister said that workers will be able to have access to a grant for the suspension of activity after three months without working and which will last for a maximum period of six months, and can be used once a year.
Graça Fonseca also explained that, in the field of work, “the great objective is to make the discontinuous activity characteristic of the sector, the so-called intermittency, not synonymous with precarious work, making the rights and duties of professionals to be properly applied”.
Regarding the contributory part, he continued, this statute “will allow many cultural professionals to be integrated into a social protection system just like the other workers, so that they can take it out and be protected ”.
“We will do everything so that the statute, in the public consultation, has the greatest possible adherence”, said the minister, recalling that in this period, of a month and a half, “there is room for improvements and to introduce changes”, and advance what the associated expense forecast is.
“We know that it is essential to reach the end, approve the statute, have it in force and know that in the coming decades it is possible to allow artists to be much more protected in the future ”, he declared, quoted by TSF radio.
Despite this great novelty, professionals in the sector have warned of the fact that this statute is being approved prematurely and underline that, for this very reason, it may even reinforce the precariousness.
At the same press conference, Graça Fonseca also announced that the resolution establishing the objectives of investment in Cultural Heritage public property, the value of which will be 150 million euros.
The investment priorities focus on interventions in a total of 46 museums and monuments and three national theaters, whose requalification and conservation is part of the Culture component of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR).
Among this universe are emblematic monuments and museums, such as the Jerónimos Monastery, the National Archeology Museum and the Belém Tower, but also the São Carlos, D. Maria II and Camões theaters.
The minister also highlighted the decree-law that creates the Know-How Association, whose mission is “the development of activities of public interest in the context of safeguarding and recognizing traditional arts and crafts, as well as the sustainable development of artisanal production”.
In the area of Performing Arts and Visual Arts, the “decree-law that alters the support allocation regime financial resources of the State to the visual and performing arts ”and which“ aims to respond to the need for the sustainable consolidation of artistic structures and the planning of its activities, as well as the dynamism and development of artistic projects ”.
A decree-law was also approved that “regulates support for theaters schedule and cinema theaters that are part of the Portuguese Theater and Film Theatre Network ”, thus fulfilling the objective of implementing a“ sustained and proximity cultural policy, based on territorial decentralization and deconcentration, in order to encourage the widest access to the arts ”.
The Government also formalized the “creation of the Portuguese Contemporary Art Network” and the position of “curator of the Contemporary Art Collection do Estado ”, which will be occupied by the former director of the Museu do Chiado and former deputy director-general of Cultural Heritage, David Santos.
The “resolution that aims to reinforce the guidelines of the National Plan of Arts, extending its area of intervention to Higher Education” was also approved.
In the area of Cinema and Audiovisual, a decree-law was approved that “changes the Fund to Support Tourism and Cinema, ensuring the extension of the incentive program to cinematographic and audiovisual production until 2023 ″.
In the Book area, among other things, the decree-law was approved that “extends the novelty period of the book for the purpose of sale to the public, thus creating a greater protection mechanism of book agents with a view to enhancing the publishing and bookmaking activity in Portugal ”.
The minister also revealed that, in the scope of the next Commemorations of Cultural Merit, in 2022, “the day of cultural merit will be dedicated to the portuguese women artists“.
Filipa Mesquita, ZAP // Lusa