Cultured ministers | Apollo Review
Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look for regular publications featuring a libertine perspective on art and museum history.
Your traveling correspondent is rather acclaimed by the announcement that Claudia Roth, from the Green Party, will be the new German Minister of Culture in the coalition led by the SPD. Not that Rakewell has much to complain about his predecessor, Monika Grütters. On the contrary, it’s hard not to be satisfied with the detail that Roth, who started working in the theater in Dortmund, led the group Ton Steine Scherben between 1982 and 1985. Roth is a veteran of German politics , having served in the European Parliament, been President of the Green Party (twice) and she has been Vice-President of the Bundestag since 2013. However, indications that more federal funding should be directed to the independent arena, that is – say clubs and live music, suggest that Roth has not been forgotten about his roots.
A clear interest in culture is hardly a requirement for a high office – and no culture minister can have much of an impact in a government that doesn’t appreciate tenure in the first place. However, Rakewell can’t help but think that it adds to the mirth of the nation – any nation – when the relevant minister knows what they’re talking about… Perhaps the most prominent Minister of Culture of recent times was Melina Mercouri of Greece. After a brilliant career on stage and on screen, whether she starred in Greek tragedies or collaborated with the best directors of the time, including her husband Jules Dassin, the actress had no hard to find an audience for his campaign to recover the Parthenon marbles. And maybe there was even a thrill of pleasure seeing someone whose most popular hit was the heist comedy film. Topkapi (1964) arguing for cultural restitution.
Nowadays, the Italian Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini is not only the longest-serving holder of this post (in different governments), but continues to write highly regarded (if perhaps not widely read?) Fiction. which are published in France by the august house Gallimard. Closer to home, let’s not forget the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports. In 2013, the deputy and I’m a celebrity get me out of here Nadine Dorries signed a six-figure contract with publisher Head of Zeus for a series of novels set in a “united Irish Catholic community” in the 1950s. The Zeus leader says the books have so far gone Sold 2.5 million copies, including 1.8 million in e-book form, so Dorries is now as critically proof as she appears to be political criticism.
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