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Kunsthalle Bratislava Director Resigns Amid Funding Cuts and Political Pressure

Ministry of Culture Revokes Funding for Institution’s Artistic and Educational Program

Bratislava, Slovakia – The director of the Kunsthalle Bratislava, Jen Kratocvhil, has resigned following the Ministry of Culture’s decision to revoke funding for the institution’s 2024 artistic and educational program. The news comes amid a shift in the Ministry of Culture towards the political right, with the government body announcing this week that financing would be curbed for LGBQT-supportive organizations.

Founded in 1958, the Kunsthalle Bratislava is a state-funded contemporary art museum known for its inclusive and politically progressive focus. It lacks a permanent collection and relies on a collaborative approach, often working with the community and neighboring institutions on projects. The museum has been outspoken in its support of the LGBT community, hosting events for local organizations and participating in the Slovenská Tepláreň festival, which was founded in response to a 2022 shooting in front of a gay bar in Bratislava where two people were murdered.

The shooting sparked a series of anti-LGBQT statements from Culture Minister Martina Šimkovičová, who vowed to stop funding LGBTI+ organizations and declared her intention to “return to normality” in the ministry. On Wednesday, the ministry announced that the Kunsthalle Bratislava would now be managed by the Slovak National Gallery.

The Kunsthalle Bratislava expressed concern over the ministry’s actions, stating that they have “strong reason to worry about the independence and freedom of this national institution.” The museum reaffirmed its commitment to the values it has promoted and thanked its visitors for their support.