Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven: ‘My pockets are deep, but not endless’ | Politics

In the past two weeks, when museums, theaters and cinemas had to close again because of the second corona wave, Ingrid van Engelshoven has especially missed the theater. The culture minister is a great theater lover. “That whole ritual: hang up your coat, sit down, turn off the phone and enjoy undisturbed.”

Instead, she looked at the online offer. Yet she misses ‘the experience’. “At home you don’t put your phone in a cupboard,” says Van Engelshoven in the Panorama Mesdag in The Hague that was allowed to reopen on Thursday. Apart from a school class in The Hague, she was the first visitor to the museum around the panorama of Scheveningen that Hendrik Willem Mesdag painted in 1881. Her favorite part of the 1,680 square meter artwork is the horses on the beach. “It’s like they are moving.”

Van Engelshoven cannot remember the last museum she visited before Panorama Mesdag. “Was that the Singer in Laren, the Kunstmuseum in The Hague or MORE in Gorssel?”

After the hospitality industry, the cultural sector was hit hardest by the consequences of the corona pandemic. Theaters and cinemas are seeing their revenues evaporate now that up to thirty visitors are welcome. Came in April a first aid package of 300 million euros especially for culture, in addition to the support measures that the cabinet announced for the entire economy. A second package was presented at the end of August, for the first half of 2021, worth 482 million euros.

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