Politics at Budapest museum

News | Vienna Review | June 2013

Ruling party Fidesz favourite Julia Fabény was appointed director of the Ludwig Museum in Budapest, fueling criticism that Viktor Orbàn’s conservative government is biased against opponents of the country’s increasingly patriotic cultural policy.

Unlike former director Barnabás Bencsik, the 59-year old Fabény has stated that it is not the task of a museum director to judge politics. Also, the partnered Ludwig Foundation in Germany opposed Bencsik’s replacement.

The decision caused outcry in the Hungarian arts scene, provoking an occupation of the Ludwig Museum by activists from the group Syndication for Contemporary Art in May, demanding a "Free Ludwig-Museum", "Autonomy" and "Transparency" on their colourful banners.

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