The value of arts can have several meanings. First, there is the value in the moral or intellectual sense and then there is the financial value.
On the moral or intellectual level, France places a high value on the arts.
Indeed, France has always sought to attract the world's great artists, whether it be with Francis I who, having fallen in love with the Italian Renaissance, brought Leonardo da Vinci to his court, or more recently when François Mitterand trusted the Chinese-American architect Leoh Ming Pei to orchestrate the famous glass pyramid in the Louvre's Napoleon courtyard.
On the institutional side, the Centre national des arts plastiques, created in 1982, has the mission to support and promote contemporary creation in all fields of visual arts: painting, sculpture, photography, installation, videos, design, graphic design, etc. It implements a series of support mechanisms, exhibition co-productions, and commissions intended to accompany artists and professionals in the contemporary art world (gallery owners, publishers, art restorers, and art critics) in their projects.
On the financial aspect, arts also have a great value. Paris is the 2nd most visited city in the world. Its museums are for a lot of it. The Louvre is the most visited museum in the world with no less than 10 million visitors per year. This have economic consequences; in 2019, the direct economic weight of culture, i.e. the added value of all cultural branches, is 49.2 billion euros. The share of culture in the overall economy is thus 2.3%, stable weight since 2013.
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has strongly impacted this sector of the economy. "The economic impact of the health crisis is massive and long-lasting for culture, which was the first sector to be contained and will be one of the last to be decontained. As of July 2020, its losses totaled 22.3 billion, and the curfew and then reconfinement have significantly increased them."
However, art and culture in France have definitely a brighter future to come.
To go further:
- 196 Residencies in France, a practical guide published by the Centre national des arts plastiques, as part of its mission to support the creation and provide information to professionals (artists, curators, critics, theoreticians, and art historians).
- List of the public and private grants available for artists, also published by the Centre national des arts plastiques.