Latvia has been named Eastern Europe’s most “artistic” state, according to new research from creative agency Design Bundles. The country came third across Europe as a whole, after the Netherlands first and the UK second.
But just how do you undertake the abstract mission of measuring a country’s artistic merits? The Design Bundle study had five criteria in mind: government spending on cultural services, the number of students studying art at university, the number of art schools and colleges, the total value of cultural exports, and the number of museums in each country that made it into the world’s top 20 most-visited.
“This research paints an interesting picture of Europe’s best place to be an art lover,” said Design Bundles. “The Netherlands has produced great artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, and van Gogh, and it continues to make them proud with its commitment to art and creativity. Meanwhile, countries such as Italy and France, which have their own amazing artistic heritage, are outranked by nations such as Latvia and Estonia, which have committed more resources comparatively to art funding and education.”
Despite its small population of just under 2 million people, Latvia scooped third prize thanks to high government spending on cultural services, amounting to one per cent of the country’s total GDP.
Estonia meanwhile came in fourth, beating France, Iceland, and Ireland. It also owes its honours to the 1.1 per cent of government spending given to the arts.