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Still Standing for Culture: 80 venues plan to resume events from this weekend

21:35 25/04/2021

Due to the measures taken to control the pandemic, theatres, cinemas, cultural centres and festivals have been at a standstill for several months.

The Still Standing For Culture collective has announced that 80 cultural places will reopen their doors on 30 April. Until 8 May, there will be daily cultural activities organised, ranging from screenings to shows, concerts, debates, performances and public rehearsals.

The detailed programme is now online at www.stillstandingforculture.be.

"We have decided to welcome you again after six months of closure," the collective said. "During these nine days, some participants will welcome you inside, others outside.

"All will do so in accordance with the health protocols decided by the public authorities and applied between July and October 2020 (wearing a mask, hydroalcoholic gel, distances and empty seats between each bubble).

The coronavirus consultative committee announced on Friday that cultural events would only be allowed outdoors - and with a maximum of 50 people - from 8 May. Indoor events are not permitted until at least June.

Still Standing for Culture describes the roadmap as "an arbitrary timeline", adding: "We will maintain our programming."

"We hope that mayors and prosecutors will not prohibit this common, fair, responsible and necessary political action in the face of an arbitrary situation that can no longer last," the collective said.

"Regardless, we have strong legal arguments and we will challenge any fines, whether they are addressed to the organisers, spectators or artists.

"We have been repeating for months, without being heard, that we must stop putting sectors in opposition to each other and that all human activities must be able to resume proportionately."

The group added: "We do not underestimate the dangerousness of the virus. But we point out that experiments and studies show that the opening of places of culture has minimal impact on the contamination curves in the face of the effects attributed to the activities of companies, shops and services."

Written by Richard Harris