The Chilean Government has voted to create a Ministry of Culture, Art and Heritage. The National Congress of Chile voted unanimously to approve the new institution, which will now be signed into law by President Michelle Bachelet.
“This is a historic moment for Chile,” said minister of culture Ernesto Ottone. “The approval of this project is the culmination of a long-standing process, which will finally allow us to have a solid, coordinated and decentralised institutional framework.”
Congress member Roberto Poblete enthused, “culture is everything, and that is why this ministry is so important,” while fellow member Ramon Farías added: “I am happy for all the actors, for artists and for all those who have struggled for years to have this ministry.”
The ministry will be split into two sub-sections, with one responsible for arts and culture while the other serves cultural heritage. It will be situated in Valparaiso – the first ministry outside the capital city of Santiago.
The ministry’s mission is to promote arts and culture, improve cultural diversity, and increase representation of indigenous people and migrant communities in the arts. A new 17-member Advisory Council of Native Peoples will also be created.
Finally, the Directorate of Libraries, Archives and Museums (DIBAM) and the Council of National Monuments (CMN) will become part of the new ministry.