Investment in the cultural sector is important, and the worse the economy is, the more investment in culture is needed, former French minister of culture Jack Lang said yesterday.
Lang, who was invited to Taiwan by the Ministry of Culture, said at a press conference that he helped increase France’s cultural budget during his terms as minister to send the message that “culture is an important investment.”
Lang held the position of culture minister between 1981 and 1986, and from 1988 to 1992. Under his tenure, the budget of the French Ministry of Culture in 1982 was doubled from US$444 million in 1981, and it continued to increase over the years, reaching about US$2.05 billion in 1993.
Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台), who also attended the press conference, asked Lang if strong support from a country’s president, a culture minister’s own visions and ability to execute policies, as well as a strong economy, were all indispensable factors to creating a favorable environment for the investment in culture.
Lang said France’s economy had not always been great, but he believed more resources should be allocated to the cultural sector during an economic downturn.
He mentioned the 1983 Grand Louvre project as an example of the benefits of such investment.
Lang said that the plan to renovate and expand the museum and move the Ministry of Finance to another building drew much opposition at the time, but the project, which included the creation of the famous glass pyramid, helped boost museum visitor numbers from 2 million to 10 million and benefited the development of France’s tourism and economy.
Lang and Lung are to speak at Eslite’s flagship bookstore in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義) on Saturday at an event titled: “Vision and Practice: A Conversation between Two Culture Ministers.”
The former French minister arrived in Taiwan on Sunday on an eight-day visit.
During his trip, Lang is also scheduled to visit other cultural centers in Taipei, including the National Palace Museum, Huashan 1914 Creative Park, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the National Theater Hall and the National Concert Hall, as well as other cultural institutions around Taiwan.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,