The establishment of the status of the artist and the introduction of a youth culture card are among the priorities of the Deputy Minister of Culture Michalis Hadjiyiannis according to a statement issued by his ministry on Tuesday.

An institutional framework regulating the status of the artist is being promoted, while the deputy culture minister met Law Commissioner Louisa Zannetou and will continue his meetings with all collective bodies of culture in Cyprus. The meetings aim to discuss main problems that concern them.

The deputy minister, the statement said, has also given instructions to reinstate in the draft bill provisions relating to social security and health care issues that were absent from the last draft that had been prepared.

Regarding the understaffing of the deputy ministry, planning is being promoted in cooperation with the Deputy Director General of the Deputy Ministry of Culture, Emmanouela Lambrianidis, who took office on March 13. Contacts are also being made to address this major problem that concerns the deputy ministry and the department of modern and contemporary culture, and hinders the smooth implementation of the deputy ministry’s policy.

Concerning the introduction of the Youth Culture Card will enable young people over 18 years of age to attend performances by Cypriot artists.

Among the priorities is the preparation of a proposal to the finance ministry for tax exemptions in culture and the establishment of tax incentives to the private sector for investment in culture.

The elaboration of changes to better implement the legislation about the minimum mandatory rate of enrichment of public buildings with works of art, or the “1 per cent Law” as it is known in the art community, is also among the priorities.

This will be achieved through the updating of the list of existing public buildings included in the Law and by the establishment of a timeframe for the implementation of the obligation with the relevant institutions. The possibility of broadening the scope of the Law so as to cover also the cases of extensions of public buildings is also being studied, it was added.

Regarding the participation of Cyprus in the Venice Biennale 2024, it is stated that according to the newly established procedure, the competent commission for the selection of works and artists is submitting this week to the deputy minister of culture which will publish the relevant Open Call for proposals for participation.

As regards the operation of the State Gallery of Contemporary Art (SPEL), instructions will be given within the next few days to formulate a new programme and procedure for the organisation of visual arts exhibitions and activities.

Meanwhile, the process for the establishment of the Cyprus Museum of Contemporary Art (CMP) is proceeding based on the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility and Fiscal Framework Law and the circulars of the Ministry of Finance regarding the establishment of new state entities. According to the announcement, the Department of Modern and Contemporary Culture, following the recommendations of the Ministry of Finance, prepares all the necessary documents towards fulfilling the required conditions and criteria set by the legislation.

Consultation with all stakeholders for the improvement of the “THYMELI” Plan continues to prepare a comprehensive proposal for 2024, it was added.

“Respecting the people of Culture of Cyprus, appreciating their contribution and their work, and fully understanding their needs, concerns and worries, the Deputy Minister of Culture, as well as all the staff of the Deputy Ministry will do their utmost to resolve all the issues that concern the cultural community, through dialogue and continuous feedback, always with transparent procedures,” the statement said.