Theatrical Heritage: challenges and Opportunities, VU Brussels

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Assessing the value of the TIN collections Conference Revaluing Theatrical Heritage: challenges and Opportunities, VU Brussels

In the spring of 2011, I was asked to carry out a quick scan of the TIN collections. The assumption was that ascertaining the paramount importance, the uniqueness of the TIN collections through an expert procedure, would offer an argument for the salvation of the TIN as an independent institution, and for it to remain fully subsidized on national government level. In various other heritage fields, the undisputed national importance of some collections had previously led to the
explicit government responsibility for their maintenance, upkeep and sustainable access.

The moment in time was not a coincidence. Since the 1990s, a neo-lib urge was being felt that put culture, especially the arts, under increasing pressure, either to promote itself better, or to show itself economically independent. The bank crisis, then the debt crisis en now the general European recession caused many governments to turn the screw tighter and tighter. For the years 2013-2016 a slash of on average 20 percent in arts and culture subsidies is being carried out in our country. “Museums and heritage” are, however, relatively benignly treated and among the least effected. The first to go are independent, or self employed players, along with institutions in the secondary tiers, that of support and infrastructure. TIN is one such institute.
Assessing a value presupposes holdings and doings. I was set the daunting task in three weeks time to pass a fair, informed judgment on the TIN collections that would make sense to general decision makers and at the same time would uphold in the court of critical peers and learned specialists.

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