You're Fired: Hungarian National Museum Head Sacked Over LGBTQ-Related Material

  • 9 Nov 2023 4:14 PM
  • Hungary Matters
You're Fired: Hungarian National Museum Head Sacked Over LGBTQ-Related Material
The minister of culture and innovation has sacked László L Simon, the director of the National Museum, the ministry said.

In reaction, L Simon denied that the museum had “deliberately violated any laws by hosting the World Press Photo exhibition” in connection with the law that bans under-18s from viewing LGBTQ-related material.

In a statement, the minister said L Simon had “failed to adhere to the legal obligations of the institution … and exhibited behaviour that rendered his continued employment unviable.”

Commenting on his dismissal, L Simon told MTI that he acknowledged “but could not accept” the ministry’s decision.

He insisted that the museum had acted on the ministry’s earlier instructions by advising under-18s that they were not permitted to view photographs depicting life in an elderly home for LGBTQ people, adding that he rejected “the idea that our children should be protected from me or from the institution I lead”.

 'LGBTQ Propaganda' on Display in Hungarian National Museum is 'Tasteless', Claims Far-Right Mi Hazánk

“In the photo series showing the elderly home, the tasteless propaganda promoting gender change has also appeared,” said Dúró.

Mi Hazánk wants provisions of the child protection law which ban access to such content by those aged younger than 18 to apply to cultural institutions run or supported by the state, she said. 

Additional Coverage by 

The Hungarian organizer of the World Press Photo exhibition says he doesn’t understand why the director of the National Museum had to be dismissed in connection with WPP.

In October, Dóra Dúró, MP of the Mi Hazánk (Our Homeland) party requested the World Press Photo 2023 exhibition hosted by the National Museum to restrict access for those under 18 because certain images depict an LGBT old age home in the Philippines. The 2021 law on the protection of children bans LGBT propaganda among children.

János Csák, the cabinet minister for Culture and Innovation agreed with her and told the Museum not to let minors in. László L. Simon, the director of the National Museum had the ‘only over 18’ sign printed on tickets but said the museum was not entitled to require visitors to produce their IDs. On Monday, the Minister of Culture dismissed the director from his job.

Photographer Tamás Révész, who has served as Hungarian organizer of the exhibition for several years, told Klub Radio that Hungary was the first country in the Soviet bloc to be allowed to host the World Press Photo exhibition in 1970. He said the pictures exhibited were factual and carried no propaganda messages.

The pictures that were judged to be harmful to children, he added, show a small (LGBT) community finding a way to live their lives in an otherwise extremely hostile environment and are not a propaganda statement for the LGBT lifestyle.

Révész does not think Hungary could be deprived of its right to host WPP next year or thereafter because of what has happened.

  • How does this content make you feel?

XpatLoop Media Partner

Hungary Matters

Launched in January 2014, this newsletter published on week days covers 'everything you need to know about what’s going on in Hungary and beyond', according to its publisher the state media agency MTI.

Explore More Reports