Liberal revolt against cultural canon

A group of Liberal politicians criticize their own government´s ideas of a national cultural canon, meant to renew focus on the Danish cultural heritage

A group of Liberal politicians criticize their own government´s ideas of a national cultural canon, meant to renew focus on the Danish cultural heritage. Conservative Culture Minister Brian Mikkelsen sneers at the "liberalists": They don´t understand the project, he says.

The proposed national cultural canon is under fire, after several front line Liberal politicians announced that they did not find it a good idea, Jyllands-Posten reported on Thursday. The canon is meant to represent the seminal works in all Danish artistic genres, but the idea has been criticized as a state-sponsored attempt at arbitrating "Danishness."

"I will not participate in a project meant to re-educate the Danish people," former Liberal minster Britta Schall Holberg said. "If it´s a school project to give a historical overview of the art genres, that´s fine with me. But you can´t hire a group of arbiters of taste to decide what I should think is good art. It doesn´t fit in my idea of a liberal world."

The proposal is also bothering Liberal mayor in South Jylland, Carl Holst

"I´m a Liberal at heart and think that one´s right to defend one´s point of view should be absolute," Holst said. "But there has to be room for others to have their point of view."

Holst said he agreed that the Danes needed to be more aware of their own cultural values, but did not think a cultural canon was the best solution."

Brian Mikkelsen presented his plans for the cultural canon a week ago. It will be promoted next autumn in the form of a book, CD and DVD containing examples of selected works. The book will be published in an initial print run of 100,000 copies. Mikkelsen has said that he hopes a copy of the volume will be found in every Danish home.

But Birthe Rønn Hornbeck, Liberal MP, finds the idea of the state meddling in the cultural values of the general public deeply disturbing.

"I don´t like state tyranny, with legions of experts issuing authoritarian lists over the things the average Dane is supposed to have standing on his bookshelves," Hornbeck said. She added that she considered the educational system the right channel to increase the nation´s cultural knowledge.

The canon is considered to mark a new phase of the values struggle set in motion by the Liberal Party´s own Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen two years ago. The debate over national identity has sharpened as a result of the recent years' trends in immigration and globalization across Europe.

The Liberal wave of criticism has taken Culture Minister Brian Mikkelsen by surprise.

"The Liberalists have gotten it all wrong," Mikkelsen said. "We are not making a check list over fine art. The proposal is a right-wing challenge to discuss our cultural heritage and come to terms with the fact that some things are more important than others."

Andre læser

Mest læste

Mest læste Finans

Del artiklen

Giv adgang til en ven

Hver måned kan du give adgang til 5 låste artikler.
Du har givet 0 ud af 0 låste artikler.

Giv artiklen via:

Modtageren kan frit læse artiklen uden at logge ind.

Du kan ikke give flere artikler

Næste kalendermåned kan du give adgang til 5 nye artikler.

Teknisk fejl

Artiklen kunne ikke gives videre grundet en teknisk fejl.

Ingen internetforbindelse

Artiklen kunne ikke gives videre grundet manglende internetforbindelse.

Denne funktion kræver Digital+

Med et Digital+ abonnement kan du give adgang til 5 låste artikler om måneden.

ALLEREDE ABONNENT?  LOG IND

Denne funktion kræver Digital+

Med et Digital+ abonnement kan du lave din egen læseliste og læse artiklerne, når det passer dig.

Teknisk fejl

Artiklen kunne ikke tilføjes til læstelisten, grundet en teknisk fejl.

Forsøg igen senere.