Is Iceland Too Small For A National Theatre? - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Is Iceland Too Small For A National Theatre?

Published November 5, 2013

An Icelandic mayor has recently expressed concerns that Iceland might have too few people to support many of the institutions it uses today.
At a town council meeting for Vestmannaeyjabær, mayor Elliði Vignisson began to make speculations on Iceland’s population, and the amount of money the government spends on certain institutions.
After opening statements, wherein he addresses the town council president that he wanted to talk about “one of his favourite topics of conversation, which are budgeting and politics”, Elliði then asked town council:

“Can a country of 320,000 people have a National Theatre which uses 900 million ISK [per annum]? Can it have a symphony orchestra which costs 700 million ISK? Can it submit 300 million ISK in construction fees for one building in Reykjavík called Harpa? Can it have a diplomatic service which presumes hundreds of millions are used for a consulate in New Delhi? We are 320,000 people. Should we not take a better look at the expenditures before we approve them?”

The full video of Elliði’s speech to Vestmannaeyjabær town council can be seen below (in Icelandic):


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