The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Karelia was established in 1953, the 20-th of May, in accordance with the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Karelian-Finnish Soviet Socialistic Republic (SSR) and replaced the Board of Art. In 1956 the Ministry was renamed as the Ministry of Culture of the Karelian Autonomous SSR. From the 13-th of November, 1991, till 2004 it was the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Karelia. In 2004 – the Ministry of Culture and Public Relations of the Republic of Karelia.
In 2006 a department of government control over protection, use and popularization of cultural heritage objects under the regional authority was set up.
In 2008 a new division was added to the existing at that time structure – of Cultural Heritage, which consisted of two departments: the one controlling the sphere of cultural heritage preservation and archival affairs, the other – providing for the conservation of cultural heritage.
In Karelia 4619 historic and cultural monuments are subject to the government control and account.
In September, 2010, the body was titled the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Karelia and transmitted a part of authority concerning the work with non-commercial organizations to another regional body.
Now the Ministry continues cooperation with ten creative unions, rendering support to them.
Among the subordinated authorities of the Ministry there are: theatres, museums, National Archive, libraries, concert organizations, magazine “Sever”, two colleges, four centers etc., all together – 21.
Through its history the Ministry was headed by S.V. Kolosyonok (1941 – 1951), G.S. Mnatsakanov (1951 – 1952), I.I. Tsvetkov (1952 – 1956), I.M. Petrov (1956 – 1959), L.M. Kolmovskiy (1959 – 1977), O.M. Strelkov (1977 – 1988), V.P. Sharapov (1988 – 1990), O.A. Belonuchkin (1990 – 1994), T.N. Kalashnik (1994 – 2002), G.T. Brun (2002 – 2010), E.V.Bogdanova (2010-2015). Now the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Karelia is A.N.Lesonen.
Nowadays culture, alongside with political and economic stability, is a considerable factor of development, which ensures spiritual unity of the peoples, common moral goals, preservation of original cultural values and historic memory, reverence for the native language.
Preservation of cultural and national identity forms the background to stimulate consolidation and strengthen the sovereignty.