I.In the fight against the increasing decay of Berlin’s world-famous museums, the federal government wants to advance renovation funds. The federal funds of 11.3 million euros planned in the 2021 budget are to be paid out in full, without the 25 percent actually required by the state of Berlin.
The house of Minister of State for Culture Monika Grütters (CDU) will “make compensation elsewhere for funding in the State of Berlin”, according to a letter from the government to the Bundestag budget committee available to the German Press Agency.
In a 2019 report, the Federal Audit Office saw the existence of important cultural buildings in the capital in jeopardy, saying that “a considerable building maintenance backlog arose over many years”. The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, supported by the federal and state governments, does not counter this effectively.
With more than twenty museums, collections, libraries, institutes and archives, the foundation is one of the world’s largest cultural institutions. This affects facilities throughout the city, including the New Museum, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Museum Island.
The foundation is supported by the federal and state governments. While the grants of all other states are capped, costs exceeding a base amount remain with the federal government (75 percent) and Berlin (25 percent). The Science Council had already questioned this model in its analysis of the foundation with a view to the notoriously financially weak Berlin. However, in the countries outside Berlin there are hardly any signs of deviating from the previous model, which gives them a comprehensive say with a manageable financial outlay.
The ten-year special program to record and remove the renovation backlog provides for investments of 251.5 million euros. Berlin would have to bear almost 63 million euros of this.
According to the letter, Berlin announced in March that it would not be able to co-finance the special program. There is also a lack of financial leeway for the following years. Since the renovation should start as soon as possible, the federal government still wants to finance its share, they say. For the further planned structural reform of the Prussian Foundation, this is “not a prejudice” from the federal point of view. In the letter to the Budget Committee, possible areas of compensation for the funds for Berlin are not explained in more detail.