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3 Dec 2015

Belarus’ draft Code on Culture passes first reading

MINSK, 3 December (BelTA) – Belarusian MPs passed the first reading of the draft Code on Culture on 3 December, BelTA has learned.

The bill consists of the general and special parts and includes five sections and 257 articles. The document envisages a comprehensive and systemic regulation of public relations in the cultural sector that comprises 11 areas of cultural activity. The draft law stipulates more than 60 regulatory acts, including seven laws, four President’s executive orders, about 20 government’s resolutions and nearly 30 most efficient regulations from the Culture Ministry.

Belarus’ draft Code on Culture passes first readingFirst Deputy Culture Minister Irina Driga stated, presenting the bill, that the document is unmatched in the world.

In particular, the document legalizes cultural sponsors (legal entities that support the cultural sector in line with the President’s decree) and art patrons (individuals that make donations) as subjects of the cultural activity. “Thus, charitable activity in the cultural sector gets legislative support,” noted Irina Driga.

In her words, the draft law introduces the notion of the public-private partnership in the cultural sector. The bill expands the role of public organizations in the protection of the historical and cultural heritage. For instance, the document envisages the creation of public observation commissions on the protection of the heritage under the Culture Ministry and local executive and regulatory bodies.

Belarus’ draft Code on Culture passes first readingApart from that, the document includes issues related to the cooperation with Belarusians living abroad with a view to preserving their national and cultural identity.

The bill also includes issues regarding to the protection of the archeological heritage. “Thus, archeological research can be conducted only with the permit from the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. Under the document, any artefacts found are subject to compulsory transfer into public ownership,” noted Irina Driga.

The First Deputy Culture Minister also added that films screened in Belarus would be rated from 0 to 18+.

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