Gilberto Gil to step down as Brazil’s Minister of Culture

July 30, 2008

As reported a couple of hours ago by Brazil’s IG News Service via Último Segundo (my translation):

The artist has held the office of Minister [of Culture] since 2003, the year that began Lula’s first term, and he has already prepared to leave the position on more than one occasion. Every time, the president managed to convince Gil to change his mind as well as his post.

Despite considering his term as head of the MinC [Ministry of Culture] as “positive,” Gil lamented that the Commission on Ethics had prevented him from performing live while serving in the government during the past two years. According to him, the presence of a musician in command of the Ministry could have become an “international paradigm.”

“I hope that these four years [have been] important for Brazil and for the world, because many people came in with prejudices about having a musician for a minister,” he noted.

Gil is a beloved icon throughout the country and a passionate defender of Free Culture and Access to Knowledge. Breaking with historical precedent, he dedicated his time at the MinC to creating new programs that supported thousands of small and medium sized cultural projects nationwide.

His departure will undoubtedly raise questions about the future of these projects.

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