Austria to pay artists 1000 euros a month

Museums and exhibitions have been allowed to reopen as COVID-19 restrictions are eased in Austria.
Museums and exhibitions have been allowed to reopen as COVID-19 restrictions are eased in Austria.

Self-employed artists in Austria are eligible for monthly payouts of 1000 euros ($A1,666) to protect their livelihoods in the current crisis, the government has announced, responding to pressure from the cultural sector.

The government set up a 90-million-euro fund to help about 15,000 artists during the second half of this year.

"We are acknowledging that the disruption (of cultural life) will last more than just one or two months," Culture Minister and Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler told a press conference in Vienna on Thursday.

The announcement came one day after Finance Minister Gernot Bluemel said that he had earmarked 25 million euros to cover losses for film productions that were stopped because of the pandemic.

The government is also planning to aid larger cultural institutions.

The coalition between conservatives and Greens has drawn up schemes in recent days to ramp up cultural life after the lockdown period, after numerous artists protested that they were being forgotten while other sectors of the economy reopened.

The Green secretary of state for cultural affairs, Ulrike Lunacek, stepped down amid the criticism and was replaced last week by Andrea Mayer, a former senior official in the culture ministry.

Australian Associated Press