Clearly, government has a responsibility to support the arts. However, if that support is going to produce anything of value, government must place no restrictions on the art that is produced.”
The issue at hand is whether government has a responsibility towards arts and whether it should regulate such art. The essential job of any government is the security and well-being of its citizen. On of the elements that adds to this well-being and indeed quality of life of a nation is art the country produces. So in principle I agree with the statement that government indeed has a responsibility not only support but also celebrate arts. As far as regulating arts is concerned, government must almost always place no restriction on any art that is being produced.
First arts add tremendous value to the social/economic value of a country. Let's take the example of Italy, which produced tremendous works of arts during renaissance under the patronage of the pope. Even today those arts are celebrated. Tourism is one of the biggest industry and source of revenue for the country. This makes art very important economically to the population. Italians also take pride in the artists and the arts the country has produced. Thus art adds social value to the country. It is entirely possible that without the patronage of the pope artists such as Michaelangelo and Da Vinci would not have produced such great works as arts as the "The Last Supper" or the "Sistine Chapel". Also without the preservation and celebration of the arts by successive italian governments, those arts may not survived for our enjoyment.
Second art is the most free form of expression. Most great arts come when the artists is free to create without restrictions. So although government indeed has a responsibility towards arts, it should almost always stay away from regulating the same. Art produced under regulation is not art but a reproduction of a government view.
One of the issues with government support of art is the even-handedness of the support. A constant fear among many is that the government may only support art that it feels is beneficial to itself. While this may true, but no amount of regulation has ever forced artists to not produce art that they truly desire. Another issue is that sometimes art needs to be regulated in keeping with the sentiments of the general population. While sometimes governments may feel the need to regulate/ban a certain work of art, but ultimately the true judge of art is the person in front of it. So a work of art that is particularly offensive to the general population would never be enjoyed that population, thereby defeating the purpose of the art and the artist.
In conclusion, i am of the view that indeed government has a responsibility to support and celebrate art. In doing so, the government is supporting and celebrating its society and its people.