We saw it in March already been coming, but now it is official: culture minister Jet Bussemaker is ignoring the Museum Council's advice. So the advisory panel led by Joop Daalmeijer has not done its homework properly: its idea for a national collection and forced cooperation between museums has been rejected as unworkable.
Museums will be encouraged to work better together in the future and there will be a pot of two million for talent development and scientific research, digitisation 'and an award for the best collaboration project between schools and museums'.
The exact plans will be known after the summer, in the new budget for culture. Which will turn out to be another big surprise, given the numbers that now reverberate through the corridors of The Hague as demands for cuts. Whether culture will again be spared the billions that are yet to be cut in government spending is as uncertain as the weather in the Netherlands. That Bussemaker herself is doing her best to get the arts sector behind her in preparation is already clear. At the opening of the Venice Biennale she promised already investing in talent development for young artists, and now it is bypassing the Culture Council, which had already incurred the wrath of the sector with its advice on the museum system.
Who will win, Bussemaker or her predecessor Zijlstra, is still unclear. In any case, the big loser is already clear: the Council for Culture.
The minister's letter is here to be found