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Nepotism is revolutionizing culture in France



  • The number of companies financing the cultural sector has increased by ten in the past decades in France

  • This type of donation benefits from 60% tax cuts.

The private sector has gained a lot of weight in recent decades in the Middle East finance the culture in France. historically, Care It was almost non-existent in the neighboring country. The state played a prominent role in financing everything related to the arts and heritage. However, the paradigm has changed dramatically in the past two decades, favoring an increasing corporate weight in financing cultural institutions, raising fears of privatization of the sector.

Connection “Aillagon Law ”, which entered into force in 2003, jumped into patronage in France. It was set up during the Presidency of Governor Jacques Chirac, and established a very favorable tax framework for those corporations or large fortunes that give money to foundations or cultural projects. Each donation benefits from a 66% tax rebate in the case of individuals and 60% for private companies. This means that if a company finances an art project with €10,000, the taxes it has to pay can be reduced by €6,000 for it.

Since then, the number of companies funding culture has increased multiplied by ten, from 6,500 to 68,500. 14% of private groups act as sponsors. All CAC 40 – the Paris Stock Exchange – owns its own “charitable” foundation. Major museums and some prestigious universities have set up specific organizations to raise private funds. In a way, the model of the great American Shepherds, eg Bill Gates, settled in France. Despite this, the French state maintains a central role in financing culture. The proportion of public spending allocated to this sector in France is 1.5% of GDP, slightly higher than the European average and Spain (1.3%), according to Eurostat data.

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The spread of private museums

This flourishing of patronage was reflected in the multiplication of great fortunes They created their own museum: Fondation Carmignac in Porquerolles, inaugurated in 2018; Luma Foundation in Arles, in 2013; Villa Datrice Bernard Magrez Institute, near Bordeaux and MLDR; A list worthy of a James Joyce or Roberto Bolaño novel could be made. Apple promises of multi-million dollar donations by multinational corporations to Rebuilding Notre DameA few hours after the conflagration, this phenomenon also explained itself.

While in the second half of the twentieth century every French president left his mark with the creation of a great museum in Paris – Pompidou with its symmetrical center of contemporary art, Mitterrand with its D’Orsay or Chirac with Quai Branly-, first the twenty-first decades were marked by the emergence of large private institutions in the French capital , Such as Louis Vuitton Foundation (in 2005) or Pinault Groupwhich opened in May last year.

The spread of patronage diversified funding sources, but caused certain fears of the gradual privatization of the cultural sector. In addition, this model has drawn criticism for The high cost of public coffers. The Court of Auditors warned in 2017 that tax cuts for nepotism had a cost to the country About 900 million euros. Luxury giant Louis Vuitton saved $518 million in tax payments between 2007 and 2017 thanks to its “philanthropic” activities.

For this reason, the French government decided Slightly reduce tax benefits cultural donations. Since last year, only 40% of donations over two million euros can be deducted. A slight brake on this sudden taste of the great riches of art.

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