By Le Figaro with AFP
The cultural institution contests the legality of the elimination of its annual subsidy by the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, chaired by Laurent Wauquiez, denouncing a “totally arbitrary and unfounded decision“.
The Théâtre Nouvelle Génération (TNG) in Lyon announced on Tuesday that it had filed an appeal before the administrative court to contest the legality of the withdrawal of its annual subsidy by the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, chaired by Laurent Wauquiez.
In a press release, the leadership of the TNG, which took legal action on November 17, denounces a “totally arbitrary and unfounded decision» while the structure, labeled “National Drama Center” by the State, has according to it a three-year agreement of objectives (2022-2024), “co-signed in September 2022 by the City of Lyon, the AURA Region and the State“.
“In 2022, the regional subsidy increased from 175,000 euros to 149,000 euros and in 2023, it is zero and plunges us into deficit“, explained to AFP a spokesperson for the Lyon institution, which despite everything managed to maintain the holding of a “around twenty» of shows «like last year“. A free appeal process with the Region, “for four months” stayed “without answer“, further erts the TNG, justifying its approach to administrative justice.
In 2022, the region had withdrawn four million euros in subsidies from 140 cultural actors, mainly in Lyon, Grenoble and Saint-Étienne, a change of direction that the LR president of the region Laurent Wauquiez had “umed» by evoking “reorientations“. In April, the region announced that it was continuing its cultural policy of “rebalancing» for the benefit of «territories» by favoring festivals, which have benefited from increased subsidies. These choices and these cuts caused an outcry in the cultural and political world, which denounced “a brutal and unjustified measure“.
The director of TNG Joris Mathieu had accused Mr. Wauquiez of engaging in “to a deliberate enterprise to destabilize the functioning of public cultural institutions» in a column published on the Syndeac union website. The vice-president of the regional council in charge of culture Sophie Rotkopf publicly justified the elimination of the regional subsidy by pointing out “the contempt of the director of TNG” and his “remarks sincerely bordering on insulting towards our president“.