Memo September 2000


A memo sent to local correspondents, friends and acquaintances of The Budapest Observatory in September 2000

Dear Colleagues,

After all the remorses we had, at last we close a month with good feelings. Finally we found time and inspiration to work on our web site. A major function of this memo is therefore to guide you to

Meeting of observatories
The Budapest Observatory was present at the first world assembly of cultural observatories, organised by Unesco with support from the cultural ministries of Canada and Sweden and held in the Canadian pavilion at the Expo 2000 in Hanover on 19-20 September. Or rather the 19th only, most unfortunately I had to leave half time for another obligation. As usual, there was some uneasiness at the start as the observers observed each other over the long table but gradually the group collected impetus; as a follow-up, some multilateral infromation flow may start and BO might volunteer to co-coordinate the monitoring of at least one issue in the world.

Meeting of experts on culture and world trade
We had the chance to observe this event, too. As we finally managed to launch this line of activity (see below), the meeting promised to be highly topical for us. To a certain extent it was. For more, see the new chapter of our site on "world trade" soon.

Theatres and local authorities
This was one of the central themes of the conference held between theatre performances in Timisoara, with participants from Romania and Hungary, including Zita from BO. We followed with interest, because sooner or later we must include the issue of municipal cultural administration into our portfolio.

Tax Incentives
As you may remember, after a quick start we got bogged down in terminological problems. Lately we received the text of the Romanian law on sponsorship which is clear in its terms, though colleagues complain about its application and the wriggling going on with the ministry of finances. We hope to have more information soon.

Please, let us know if you know of direct references to sponsoring (possibly by this name) in your national legislation!

Best Practices
A real good case description arrived about the Vidin Philharmonics and we have decided to put on those which still need editing, too.

Public Grants for Cultural Projects
Find names of registered persons and organisations from East-Central Europe to the Ottawa meeting of arm's length cultural agencies in December.

New chapters
New chapters have ben set up for the issues of the place of cultural goods and services in the international trade agreements ("world trade") and to the relationship with the European Union. Although they are motly in the future tense, they may be appropriate to provoke comments or questions from you at this stage, too.

New pages
The useful links and the index of countries on our site are obligatory parts of a decent web site. Now we have got them.

Hoping for a similarly busy October.