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Croatia’s Leading Cultural Figures Protest Country’s New Minister of Culture

Less than a month into his administration, Croatia’s freshly-minted prime minister Tihomir ‘Tim’ Orešković is fielding protests and petitions over his choice for the minister of culture, Zlatko Hasanbegović, a historian with no background in cultural management but well known for his ties to a Croatian nationalist movement that flirts with fascism, according to a report by Vedran Pavlic at Total Croatia News.

Hasanbegović’s appointment has been protested by the anti-fascist human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center as well as Kulturnjaci2016, an organization of Croatian cultural figures who are circulating a petition to have him removed from office. Signees include such prominent artists as Sanja Iveković, David Maljković, Andreja Kulunčić, and Damir Očko along with the curatorial collective “What, How and for Whom.” As WHW’s Sabina Sabolović explained, “Mr. Hasanbegović's public statements and his first moves”—including pulling funding from nonprofit media initiatives—“suggest that his focus will be on projecting a monolithic national cultural identity.” The petition calling for his dismissal can be found here.