By Le Figaro with AFP
Laszlo Simon was fired on Monday November 6 by the Hungarian government for refusing to prohibit minors’ access to photographs that evoke the theme of ity.
The Hungarian government fired on Monday, November 6, the director of the National Museum of Hungary, who “failed” in his duty to apply the law prohibiting minors’ access to an exhibition offering content evoking ity.
Director Laszlo Simon “failed to comply with its legal obligations» and has “behaved in a way that made it impossible to continue his mission“, indicated the Ministry of Culture in a press release, specifying that the measure took effect immediately. Until Sunday, the National Museum of Hungary presented the photos awarded in 2023 by the World Press Photowhich rewards each year “the best visual journalism” in the world. But the far-right Our Homeland party denounced this exhibition, because it showed without restrictions photos of an LGBT+ community in the Philippines.
He believed that it violated a 2021 law prohibiting any mention of ity to minors in public. In Hungary, a member country of the European Union (EU) governed since 2010 by the nationalist Viktor Orban, it is forbidden to discuss this subject outside of private circles with people under eighteen years of age, under penalty of financial sanctions. The Hungarian Ministry of Culture therefore ordered the National Museum to prevent children from entering the exhibition rooms. But the museum declared to AFP on Wednesday that it could not control identity documents and relied on “cooperation» visitors.
The director of the National Museum is a former deputy of Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party and as such, he voted for this law opposed by NGOs, which the EU intends to cancel through an infringement procedure still in progress. On Facebook he said:not being able to accept» his dismissal, claiming not to have deliberately “violated the law“. Last week, he ironically thanked the far right on Facebook for having aroused public interest in his exhibition. In return, the latter was indignant that he “makes fun of his own government, which is unusual, because Viktor Orban does not tolerate this kind of thing“. In Hungary, fellow travelers of Viktor Orban have been regularly ousted since 2010 after contesting his actions.