Brussels, 24 th February 2010
State aid: Commission approves indemnity scheme for federal museums in Austria
The European Commission has endorsed, under EU state aid rules, a scheme which allows the Austrian Minister of Finance to assume liability for damage to art objects borrowed by Austrian federal museums for exhibition in Vienna.
The beneficiaries of the aid measure, eight Austrian federal museums situated in Vienna, carry out tasks in the interest of the Austrian state, aimed at promoting and making accessible to the public national but also European and worldwide cultural heritage.
The scheme provides support to those museums in organising exhibitions of works that are usually scattered all over the world, both in museums and private collections. The aid takes the form of a guarantee which covers liability for damage to art objects borrowed from third parties. The duration of the scheme covers a period of 6 years (1 January 2010 until 31 December 2015).
The Commission found that the aid measure promotes culture and preserves national cultural heritage without adversely affecting trading conditions and competition in the Community to an extent contrary to the common interest. Therefore, the present indemnity scheme for the Austrian federal museums is considered to constitute State aid which is compatible with the internal market under the cultural derogation of Article 107 (3) (d) TFEU.
The present scheme prolongs an aid scheme already approved by the Commission in favour of Austrian federal museums situated in Vienna.
The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number N 661/2009 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News .