Artists are squeezed out of their studios
The authorities have started an economical assault on artists by increasing the rent 10 times.
‘They demand from me 2 million rubles a month for the rent of my art studio, 100 square meters, but I don’t earn so much as to pay such a rent. It means that I am simply squeezed out to the street,’ stated the Belarusian artist Mikalai BAIRACHNY.
‘The union of artists has three hundred studios which were constructed during the Soviet rule’, says Ryhor SITNITSA, first deputy chairman of the Belarusian Union of Artists. ‘The artists pay different money for their rent. The union has to rent 180 studios from the city authorities.
The rent for these studios has been suddenly raised ten times with reference to presidential decree #533, where it is said that the creative unions are to pay 0,5 Euro per square meter in the case they rent not more than 100 square meters for art galleries, studios and exhibition halls. If the area exceeds 100 square meters, they are to pay 5 Euro.
The officials decided, that the area of 100 square meters is for the whole union,’ says Mr. Sitnitsa, ‘that the whole union can be placed on these 100 square meters and paint there’. Three housing economies have already started calculating the rent according to the new tariff.’
‘Such problems arise every year’, comments the chairman of the union, Professor Uladzimir SAVICH, ‘and every year we have to struggle for our existence. I have an impression, that our state does not need creative professions, and in the case we don’t manage to prove our right and will have to pay 2 million rubles per studio it will pretty much resemble prohibition to profession.’