Hungary museum director sacked over LGBTQ+ exhibition

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The director of Hungary’s National Museum in Budapest has been dismissed after allowing under-18 visitors into an LGBTQ+ exhibition.

The World Press Photo exhibition featured shots of LGBTQ+ people in the Philippines taken by photojournalist Hannah Reyes Morales.

Hungarian government officials claim that museum director Lazlo Simon failed to meet “legal obligations” with the exhibition by allegedly letting under-18s view the exhibition – a claim that Simon has denied.

Hungary has enforced a ban on the “display and promotion of homosexuality” in materials accessible to children, including books and films.

The controversial ban was passed by right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government, to the horror of LGBTQ+ and human rights activist groups, as well as the EU.

That ban was cited by far-right political party Mi Hazank who demanded a government inquiry into the exhibition.

On Monday (6 November), the country’s minister for culture and innovation claimed that Simon had been dismissed due to his failure to comply with the “legal obligations of the institution.”

After a government inquiry into the running of the exhibition, the National Museum argued that they had no right to ID visitors, but that they had made it clear that under-18s were not to visit the exhibition through messaging on its website and at the exhibition entrance.

Simon has acknowledged his dismissal in a post to social media but insists that he did not intentionally break any laws.


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