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Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the Cultural Sector
Author:Simone Ricca  PublishDate:2020-06-03  Hits:909

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The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on the entire global cultural ecosystem. On 22nd April 2020, UNESCO brought together over 130 ministers of culture for an online meeting. The UNESCO publication “Online Meeting of Ministers of Culture – Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Cultural Sector and the Public Policy Response” represents a summary of the interventions of made during this meeting.


Member States stressed the social consequences of the interruption of cultural practices and expressions, and underlined the vulnerability of the cultural sector. Countries have closed cultural sites and cancelled cultural events, and committed to ensuring access to culture online, prompting an unprecedented acceleration of the digital transformation of the cultural sector. 


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The response to the crisis should strengthen global and crosscutting approaches, and calls for multilateral, coordinated and global action on a large scale (the Chinese term weiji 危机, designating the concept of crisis, brings together two characters evoking danger and opportunity). 


The COVID-19 crisis represents a systematic rupture, and is compelling States to rebuild their public policies, cultural policies first and foremost, as the crisis forcefully highlights the central role of culture in society, while also bringing to light its economic significance.


This call to action from Member States in support of the cultural sector re-affirms the importance of culture as a force for the adaptation and transformation of societies. The support measures already undertaken have demonstrated the primary responsibility of States to invest in culture as a source of economic development and employment. UNESCO is committed to working with its Member States.

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