The French government is launching a €1m support fund for refugee Ukrainian artists and arts professionals forced to leave the country following the Russian invasion. The new scheme will also be open to “dissident Russian artists”, says the French ministry of culture.
A statement from the ministry says: “The emergency reception programme will finance Ukrainian artists and cultural professionals and their families for a period of three months, via the Pause programme, [comprising] residencies within the network of public establishments of the ministry and through the Cité internationale des arts [an artist-in-residence space in Paris].”
Around €750,000 will go towards setting up a telephone service in both Ukrainian and Russian in collaboration with the Atelier des artistes en exil organisation, which helps artists in exile. “This facility will make it easy and quick to guide the people concerned,” the ministry says.
The ministry will also give an extra €300,000 towards the project, enabling Ukrainian students to enrol at colleges and organisations overseen by the ministry of culture. Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, the minister of culture, met representatives from French arts organisations last week and discussed the new initiative. “The minister wants Ukrainian artists to be supported [so they] they can continue their creative work in France... this additional support will be in the form of research grants and funding for artistic projects, but also for organising exhibitions,” the ministry says.
More than 2.5 million people have already fled Ukraine, leading to the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War. The French government will accommodate around 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, said the French interior minister, Gèrald Darmanin.