"End of art?" Protest against new director of Zachęta National Gallery

TVN24 News in English, tvnwarszawa.pl
Manifestacja z kolorowymi banerami przed Zachętą
Manifestacja z kolorowymi banerami przed Zachętą Mateusz Szmelter / tvnwarszawa.pl
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Mateusz Szmelter / tvnwarszawa.pl Protest against new director of Zachęta National Gallery

About a dozen people gathered in front of Warsaw's Zachęta National Gallery on Wednesday to show their protest against the recently appointed new director of the institution. The protesters displayed colourful banners with slogans targeting the new director, but also referring to present issues.

Shortly after 2 p.m., about a dozen people gathered in front of Zachęta National Gallery at Małachowskiego Square in central Warsaw. "This is a protest based on displaying colourful banners with slogans. There are many people, but the event is quite impressive," said tvnwarszawa.pl reporter Mateusz Szmelter who was at the scene.

The following questions were among the slogans: "End of art?", "Why education?", "Why diversity?", "Why competition?", Why ecology?", Why freedom of speech?". "The main spark behind the protest is obviously the appointment of Zachęta's new director, but the protesters also refer to other present problems," Szmelter added.

On January 3, 2022, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage officially announced Janusz Janowski as the new director of Zachęta. He replaced Hanna Wróblewska, whose term ended on December 31, 2021.

The new director met with gallery employees on Monday. He was assisted by Culture Ministry envoys, including attorney Jerzy Kwaśniewski co-founder and borad member of Polish Catholic organisation and think tank Ordo Iuris.

As we previously reported, the only trade union operating in Zachęta had issued a negative opinion regarding Janusz Janowski's candidacy. Gallery employees wrote several times to Culture Minister Piotr Gliński, asking him to block the nomination and hold an open competition.

"Gazeta Wyborcza" reported that in 2018 Janowski had won second term as chief of the Association of Polish Artists and Designers (ZPAP), despite losing the first two votes.

TVN24 "Polska i Świat" magazine published a document from Warsaw branch of ZPAP, detailing impropriates surrounding his reelection. The document was addressed to Minister Piotr Gliński.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English, tvnwarszawa.pl

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Mateusz Szmelter / tvnwarszawa.pl

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