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Raphael looks after the arts: The EU's new programme for arts and heritage

While many details are yet to be fine-tuned, it should be ready to protect Europe's cultural treasures by the end of the year

Grandly named Raphael, the new catch-all programme for the arts and heritage of the European Commission is now under scrutiny. It should be knocked into shape by the end of the year and will, for the first time, give the EU limited responsibility over cultural matters. Raphael brings together a plethora of Commission projects covering the protection of historic sites and exceptional measures which can be applied to monuments such as the Acropolis. The programme covers objects as well as the built heritage. At the moment it is unclear who will be in overall charge of Raphael and what the total funding for it will be. The Commission has budgeted 67 million ECUs (£56 million) over a five year period, but says it hopes the European Parliament will ask for a further 30 million ECUs, of which £20 million will go to exceptional projects.