Opera singer sets out stall to become next Latvian Minister for Culture

Widespread cultural education is a major good, and it should not be changed, said the candidate for the post of Minister for Culture Nauris Puntulis in an interview with Latvian Television on June 11.

The post of Minister for Culture was left vacant after Dace Melbārde (National Alliance) was elected to the European Parliament. The National Alliance has chosen the opera-singer and current deputy of the Riga City Council Nauris Puntulis as a candidate for the post.

Asked about possible changes in Latvian cultural education, Puntulis said: “One thing I wouldn't want to change is its widespread accessibility. The fact that a third of the Ministry of Culture budget goes to cultural education is, in my opinion, a great advantage.”

He stressed that cultural education nurtures not only musicians but also listeners. “It is very important to me that we refer less and less to ourselves and the society in general as a consumer culture. In my opinion, education is what distances us from this consumer culture and cultivates a creative society.”

Despite this, he admits that investments in this area are not always meaningfully utilized.

“What we need are broad discussions and the most appropriate models and solutions,” said Puntulis.

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