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Hungary fires nationwide museum director over LGBTQ+ content material in exhibit

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BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungary’s cultural minister on Monday fired the director of the Hungarian Nationwide Museum in Budapest, accusing him of failing to adjust to a contentious regulation that bans the show of LGBTQ+ content material to minors.

The dismissal of Laszlo L. Simon, who grew to become director of the museum for a five-year time period in 2021, got here after Hungary’s authorities decided in late October that 5 photographs on show on the prestigious World Press Photograph exhibition violated the regulation limiting youngsters’s entry to content material that depicts homosexuality or gender change.

The museum subsequently put a discover on its web site and on the entrance to the World Press Photograph exhibition — which showcases excellent photojournalism — that the gathering was restricted to guests over 18.

Writing on his Facebook web page on Monday, Simon — a member of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz social gathering and a former secretary of state with the cultural ministry — stated that neither he nor the museum had intentionally violated Hungary’s 2021 “youngster safety” regulation.

“I be aware of the choice, however I can not settle for it,” Simon wrote. “As a father of 4 and a grandparent, I firmly reject the concept that our youngsters needs to be protected against me or from the establishment I run.”

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The pictures in query doc a neighborhood of aged LGBTQ+ individuals within the Philippines who’ve shared a house for many years and cared for one another as they age. The photographs present some neighborhood members wearing drag and carrying make-up.

Hungary’s authorities, led by nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, has restricted the provision of supplies that “promote” or depict homosexuality to minors in media, together with tv, movies, commercials and literature.

Whereas the federal government insists that the regulation is designed to insulate youngsters from what it calls sexual propaganda, it has prompted authorized motion from 15 nations within the European Union, with the bloc’s Fee President Ursula von der Leyen calling it “a shame.”

In a press release, the cultural ministry wrote that Simon had been dismissed over failing to adjust to the regulation, and “by partaking in conduct which made it unimaginable for him to proceed his employment.”

Hungary’s cultural ministry didn’t reply to a request for remark.

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