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Basic Data 


Quick Facts about the Czech Republic

Capital: Prague
Political system: Parliamentary republic
Year of membership to the Council of Europe: 30 June 1993

Population: 10 505 445 (2012)     
Population density: 136.2 inhabitants/km²
Official language(s): Czech
Non-nationals of total population: 4.0 % (2011)

Funding (2010)

Culture as share of total central government spending: 1.66 %     
Government expenditure on culture: 1 099 637 000 Euro     
Government expenditure on culture per capita: 105.00 Euro     
Share of spending on culture by central government: 33.75 %

Employment (2009)

Share of cultural workers in total employment: 1.70 %     
Share of self-empoyed in cultural employment: 21.60 %
Share of self-empoyed in total employment: 16.76 %

Markets (2012)

CUPIX: Cultural goods: 104 %     
CUPIX: Public cultural services: 68 %     
Annual exp. per capita for recreation and culture: 1 383 USD (135 %     )


Cinema admissions per capita/year: 1.3 times (2010)     
Internet penetration rate: 70.7 % (2012)     

Ratification of Key Cultural Conventions

European Cultural Convention (1955):1/1/1993

European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (1992):Entered into force 1/3/2007

European Convention for the Protection of the Audiovisual Heritage (2001):Not yet signed

UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005):


Historical perspective: cultural policies and instruments  

Author: Pavla Petrová, published: 22-09-2014, source: Compendium, Cultural policies and Trends in Europe, http://www.culturalpolicies.net/

After the Second World War, the territory of Czechoslovakia, as it was then known, fell under Soviet influence. This was one of the main reasons why the Communists seized power for 50 years after the "February revolution" in 1948. In 1960, the state changed its name to the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. Methods of totalitarian power and economic problems aroused ever-growing resistance, which culminated in the Prague Spring of 1968 and general liberalisation in all fields including the field of culture. All these efforts were suppressed in August of the same year with the invasion of Warsaw Pact troops. The unsuccessful attempt at democratisation was followed by so-called normalisation after 1969, which can be 
described as a period when all individuals and activities that were opposed to the Soviet occupation were persecuted by the state. Many important Czech personalities from the fields of art and culture were persecuted at that time. At the beginning of the 1980s, pressure for democracy started to grow more intensively, resulting in the "Velvet Revolution" in November 1989. This process brought essential political, social and economic changes to Czechoslovak society and changed the shape of culture in the Czech Republic (CR).


In 1993, the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic split into two independent states – the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic – after mutual agreement by both federations. The Czech Republic (CR) joined the European Union on 1 May 2004 following a referendum. Czechoslovakia was one of the founding members of UNESCO and, following the separation of Czechoslovakia, the independent CR became a UNESCO member state in 1993.

Until 1989, there was a dense network of ideologically controlled and endowed cultural facilities – libraries, cultural centres and houses, cinemas, theatres, museums, monuments, observatories etc. This network was centralised in the 1950s and structurally reorganised in the 1970s.

At the beginning of the 1990s, this network underwent mass privatisation and denationalisation. All state institutions, such as book publishers and music industries, film studios, circuses and art agencies, were privatised. Some state ideological cultural institutions were closed. State funds like the Czech Music Fund and others were transformed into foundations in conformity with the new Act on Foundations (see also  chapter 8.1.2).

Denationalisation of cultural facilities was a very important step in the process of democratisation. This process is also very closely connected with the Territorial Reform of Public Administration in the CR. The Act on Municipalities released the local authorities from organisational subordination to the state and it allowed them to establish cultural institutions. Many cultural institutions – in particular theatres - were transferred to their jurisdiction from the state level.

The first stage of territorial reform ended with the establishment of new higher territorial units – 14 regions, which were created on the basis of Constitutional Act No. 347/1997 Coll. The regions started operating on 1 January 2001, following the introduction of the Act on the Regions. In the second stage of reform of territorial public administration, dozens of museums, galleries and libraries were transferred to the regions on the basis of the Act on the Transfer of Certain Objects, Rights and Liabilities of the Property of the CR (see also  chapter 7.1).

The first strategic document in the field of culture was elaborated in 1996 for the Ministry of Culture of the CR in the form of the White Book – a study that clarified the relation of the state to culture and presented examples of cultural policies from other European countries. It also included a proposal for modernising the grant system of the Ministry of Culture.

The first government policy on culture in the history of the CR was ratified by Government Decree of the CR No. 401 in April 1999 and it was called the Strategy of Effective Cultural Support.

In 2001, the government issued Decree No. 40 approving the Cultural Policy in the CR 2001-2005. Provisions connected with the membership of the Czech Republic in the European Union and the reform of public administration ranked among the main topics of cultural policy.

In November 2008, the government issued Decree No. 1452 approving the National Cultural Policy 2009-2014. This is a document that focuses on understanding culture as a discipline in which it is useful to invest time, energy, and human and financial potential (see also  chapter 3).

In January 2013, with the introduction of Resolution No. 7, the government adopted the Updated State Cultural Policy for 2013 and 2014 with a View to the Years 2015 to 2020. The update provides information about the discharge of individual tasks laid out under the state cultural policy including tasks fulfilled or cancelled by Government Resolution No. 823/2011 on the updating of the Plan for the Implementation of the State Cultural Policy for 2009–2014. A new cultural policy document is being prepared for 2014, which will be in effect for the period 2015-2020. It is expected that it will be submitted to the Government of the Czech Republic at the end of 2014.

Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic


Minister of Culture

Mgr. Daniel Herman, Minister of Culture


Competence of the Ministry:
Pursuant to Section 8 of Act No. 2/1969 Coll., on establishment of the ministries and other central State administrative bodies of the Czech Republic, as amended, the Ministry of Culture is the central State administrative body for
the arts;
cultural and educational activities;
cultural monuments;
matters relating to churches and religious societies;
matters relating to the press, including publication of the non-periodical press and other information means;
the preparation of draft laws and other legal regulations in the area of radio and television broadcasting;
implementation of the Copyright Act;
production and trade in the area of culture.


State-Funded Institutions:

National Museum in Prague
National Technical Museum
The Museum of Czech Literature (PNP)
The Moravian Museum
Museum of Arts Olomouc
National Gallery in Prague
Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague
The Moravian Gallery in Brno
National Film Archive
Technical Museum in Brno
The Silesia Museum
National Theatre
The Hussite Museum in Tabor
Arts and Theatre Institute
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Prague Philharmonic Choir
Museum of Romani Culture in Brno
Wallachian Open-Air Museum
The J. A. Comenius Museum in Uherský Brod
Museum of Glass and Jewellery in Jablonec nad Nisou
National Library of the Czech Republic
Moravian Library in Brno
Library and Printing Office for the Blind
National Monument Institution
National Information and Con­sul­ting Centre for Culture (NIPOS)
National Cultural Monument Terezin
National Institute of Folklore Culture
The intention of Lidice Memorial
Museum of Puppets in Chrudim