There are many sides to cultural life in Germany: From North to South there are around 300 theaters and 130 professional orchestras. The museum world is of quite unparalleled quality – featuring 630 art museums with diverse internationally renowned collections.
Germany is known as the "Land of the poets and thinkers." Goethe was German, as were Bach and Beethoven. And yet, as a nation of culture, Germany still has no national authority with overall responsibility for culture for the country as a whole.
According to the Basic Law or Grundgesetz, culture is the responsibility of the individual federal states. Yet why are cultural affairs something that the nation itself as a whole cannot, or is not meant to, govern?
Following the Second World War the opinion gradually gained sway that Germany would only be able to return to the world community if it avoided all semblance of exaggerated emotionalism as regards the national culture. This is one of the reasons why, when the Federal Republic was founded in 1949, one bore the federal tradition in mind and handed over cultural sovereignty to the federal states.
Federal film production was re-organized, and the German Federal Cultural Foundation founded. Berlin is increasingly turning into a magnet for the creative class, and has already become a cultural force, a melting pot of cultures, whose museums are a reflection of the history of humanity.
Cultural federalism, in turn, kindles the ambition of the federal states. Cultural policy is local policy. For years now the Ruhr area, for example, a former mining and steel-producing region in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, has been re-inventing itself as a cultural region. As the 2010 European Capital of Culture, the Ruhr region documented how creative milieus open up paths to the future.
Text adapted from www.facts-about-germany.de