Minister of Culture Tiit Terik (Center) has turned down a request for €20 million in compensation for COVID-19 damages from theaters, movie theaters, music, museum and arts institutions.
Twenty-one heads of cultural institutions sent a letter to the government on March 31 asking for compensation for a nine-month period between July 2021 and March 2022.
"The loss in turnover for the period amounts to €66,967,197. The need for compensation is €20 million, with the sector prepared to shoulder the rest," the undersigned wrote.
Heads of culture write that companies have run out of resources in a situation where, instead of normalization, Estonia has landed in another next crisis.
"Accumulated losses have made it impossible for a lot of cultural enterprises to continue operating, especially in the private sector. The sector is not able to independently and without state aid to recover from such losses or support the situation in light of the war [in Ukraine]."
Minister of Culture Tiit Terik said in his reply that the supplementary budget has been approved and concentrates mainly on boosting military defense, internal security and supporting the most vulnerable members of society in difficult crises.
"In addition, the supplementary budget focuses on the Ministry of Culture's adjustment programs and additional language training for war refugees to make their lives in Estonia easier. Unfortunately, other topics, such as support for the field of culture to help it cope with the effects of the 2021 crisis, did not fit in the budget," the culture minister said.
Terik added he hopes culture organizers can benefit from two of the ministry's now closed crisis aid application rounds the results of which will be in my mid-May at the latest.
The undersigned are Aivar Sirelpuu (Alexela Concert Hall), Andri Maimets (Estonian Concert), Anne Erm (Jazzkaar and Jõulujazz festivals), Anton Pärn (Museums Board), Anu Rannu (Estonian Folk Music Center), Ave Tölpt (Music Estonia), Edith Sepp (Estonian Film Institute), Eva Saar (Jazzkaar and Jõulujazz festivals), Helen Sildna (Tallinn Music Week and Station Narva festivals), Ingrid Stroom (Live Music Estonia), Kadi-Ell Tähiste (Estonian Modern Art Development Center and the Kai Art Center), Kaupo Liiv (VLG Filmid OÜ), Kertu Orro (Estonian Concert), Kristiina Alliksaar (Estonian Association of Performing Arts Institutions and Theater Vanemuine), Kristjan Hallik (Estonian National Symphony Orchestra), Kristjan Kongo (Forum Cinemas), Mart Eensalu (Live Nation Estonia), Mikk Granström (Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival), Peeter Jalakas (Von Krahl), Sirje Helme (Art Museum of Estonia), Tiina Lokk-Tramberg (Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival).
Editor: Marcus Turovski