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Government funding should never be used to support art that the majority of the population finds distasteful or objectionable.

Whether government funds should serve to finance all kinds of art or not, is even today a controversial issue. A further question rises, when a certain piece or artistic expression is unpopular among the average citizens. Should taxpayers sustain every form of art, even when they find some works unpleasant or censurable? While some people think they should not pay for something they do not approve of, I think that public funding in the specific case of art should be free from those restraints. Firstly, I would like to comment on the functions of art. Many contemporary painters from the 20th Century, such as Picasso and Dali, point out that the final aim of their paintings was no longer to please, but to IMPRESS. Similarly, and as art expressions not only painting, but sculpture, architechture, etc.- developped, most of the authors began to discuss the functions of art. Should art only reflect reality, like the European landscape and portrait paintings in the 17-18th Centuries did? Or should art serve a higher goal? Could it perhaps move, convey, upset, give something to think about? Could it change the society we live in? Over the past century, not only painters, but also musicians, embraced this philosophy and initiated a process to expand the borders of art. In my opinion, art should not necessarily search for the audiences taste. In fact, art that breaks the rule and seeds doubt and debate is vital in every contry. Related to this, let us also reflect on the role that a government plays towards art and towards the artists in their country. In my view, the authorities must assess the true value of art, which is beyond its pleasantless or general acceptance, and support different approaches and aesthetics. Buildings such as the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, or the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, for instance, were at first unwelcome. It is commonly known that the masses tend to be conservative, and our History proves that the audience has never loved artistic innovation straight away. Nevertheless, the governors made an intelligent decision: they pushed the boundaries of architechture forward on to the future. Consequently, these cities became known years later worldwide as a symbol of modernity. Yet some people grumble about the apparent ugliness of these buildings, but even they admit that both buildings are at least impressive or grandiose. As a matter of fact, and as superficial as this argument may seem for some detractors, time has shown this commitment to modern, contemporary and controversial art has been also economically fruitful. Perhaps the right of the contributors to decide on cultural policies is the real subject of debate. In my opinion, at least in the Basque Contry, citizens decide less than they should on the use of their taxes for various and varied aspects: foreign policy, justice, control of the banking system, educational curriculum, penal institutions, contents and funding of the public media, average salaries of the politicians It strikes me that these issues are receiving less attention than the public investment in art. Clearly, the subjects listed above are much more significant in every day life, than the disturbance that a work of art could cause. Besides, disturbance could be the goal of the author of an specific work, so we would come back to the old debate about the function of art! In conclusion, I would say that art is no more a matter of taste, but of innovation and artistic contribution. I think that nudes, politically incorrect approaches etc., they all should have a place in democracy. I would encourage taxpayers to accept this fact, as hard as it may seem. From my point of view, governments must have the commitment to support at least the art that is made in their country, regardless of its momentary success. In order to calm down the detractors of this position, the spaces of display could be discussed, since some people could find it uncomfortable to bump into an explicit image on the street, or on their way to work, for example. But that would be a debate about spaces for display, not about funding.