World Socialist Web Site wsws.org 23 Mar, 2021 03:15 am

Occupation of French theatres highlights devastation of the cultural sector during the pandemic

Occupation of French theatres highlights devastation of the cultural sector during the pandemic
The trade unions have worked to confine opposition to the crisis in the arts to demands for a reopening that would accelerate the spread of the pandemic.

Since March 4, Paris’s Odéon Theatre has been occupied by protesters demanding increased support for the cultural sector and a reopening of cultural venues.” Le Monde wrote, “several hundred people [gathered] from the Place de la Republic to demand the reopening of cultural venues.” Le Figaro stated that protesters came to demand “the reopening of cultural venues.Yet even if one accepts the findings of the study—which does not control for air circulation in cultural venues, and lumps together cinemas, museums and theatres into one category—the conclusion to be drawn from such data would not be for the reopening of cinemas.

Moreover, the reopening of cultural venues would lead to an increase in COVID-19 deaths, and to a further delay in the period until the virus is controlled so cultural venues can be safely opened.In June, when the pandemic was at its lowest point, many cultural venues performed to less than half-capacity, operating at a loss throughout the period.

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