2004
Volume 124, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163

Abstract

Until now there have been few studies on cultural policy in Belgium during the nineteenth century. This can be attributed to a number of persistent misconceptions about this period, not least the misconception that the interest of central government in matters of culture began only in the twentieth century. But in fact a closer look at the budgets of the central government at the end of the nineteenth century shows us that large sums were invested in several areas of culture. This article tries to uncover why politicians thought it important to invest in cultural matters, even in times of economic depression. It seems the majority among them considered a flourishing cultural life to be an indispensible condition for economic renewal, as the best and maybe only way to escape the vicious circle of economic depression. Furthermore, culture was an important theme in the electoral battles in the cities, especially in Brussels, where elections were often won or lost on this issue. Our ignorance of the politics of this period is shown by the fact that the most important speakers in these debates, such as the independent Brussels representative Ernest Slingeneyer, are hardly know to us.

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2011-10-01
2021-10-25
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  • Article Type: Research Article
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