A discussion was held yesterday 8 March 2011, to discuss a proposal to separate the Supreme Council of Culture from the Ministry of Culture, in the Cairo Atellier located downtown. The proposal was formulated by Egyptian painter Adel El Siwi, in an attempt torevitalisethe cultural scene in Egypt.
The discussion was attended by the new Minister of Culture, Emad Abou-Ghazi, who welcomed the proposal, the Egyptian painter Mohamed Abla and a crowd of around a hundred artists.
El Siwi’s suggestion was for an independent Council of Culture that would receive funding from the state, but would not be accountable to the minister of the interior.
Hesummarisedhis proposal into three action points. The first was the independence of the Supreme Council of Culture from the Ministry of Culture.
The second point was to restructure the Council, eliminating unnecessary departments that have been set up and serve no purpose and finally, to define a new purpose and activities in order to better serve the advancement of culture in Egypt.
El Siwi pointed out that having been a member of the committee in charge of painting, he found the entire committee unwilling to discuss any of the problems that face this form of art.
The room was left to the attendees to share their thoughts. The new minister received a great deal of praise by many of the attendees and patiently noted all their concerns.
However, much of the time was spent deciding on whether this proposal was to be discussed, or to direct questions to the minister regarding other general concerns in the cultural scene.
Despite Abou-Ghazi having planned the discussion of this topic before being appointed minister, the debate calling for the independence of the Supreme Council of Culture was abandoned due to numerous demands to discuss other matters.