The director of the Kunsthalle Bratislava resigned on Monday, the institution announced on Instagram. In the same post, Kunsthalle Bratislava shared that the Ministry of Culture has revoked funding for the institution’s 2024 artistic and educational program.

The news follows a shift in the Ministry of Culture towards the political right. This same week, the government body said financing would be curbed for LGBQT-supportive organizations.

“We stand at a point where the experienced, respected professionals, scholars, artists, pedagogues, curators, and cultural workers are facing accusations of propagating values that are “putting the future of children in Slovakia in jeopardy,” Kunsthalle Bratislava wrote. The void left by director Jen Kratocvhil’s departure will be temporarily filled by economic director Denisa Zlata.

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Founded in 1958, the state-funded Kunsthalle Bratislava is notable for its promotion of contemporary art with an inclusive, politically progressive focus. As it lacks a permanent collection, it relies on collaborative approach, often doing projects in collaboration with the community neighboring institutions. It has been outspoken in its support of the LGBT community, staging several events for local organizations and taking part in the Slovenská Tepláreň festival founded in response to a 2022 shooting in front of Tepláreň, a LGBT bar on Zámocká Street in Bratislav, where two patrons were murdered. The shooting was deemed a hate crime.

The incident has since spurred a slew of anti-LGBQT statements from Culture Minister Martina Šimkovičová. “The LGBTI+ organization… will no longer parasitize on the money from the culture department. I will certainly not allow it under my leadership,” Šimkovičová wrote in an official statement on Facebook. Šimkovičová added that she “rejects progressive normalization” and that she envisions the mission of the ministry as “a return to normality.”

On Wednesday, the ministry announced that Kunsthalle Bratislava will now be managed by the Slovak National Gallery.

The Kunsthalle Bratislava said in its statement, “We are disturbed by the current steps that the Ministry of Culture has taken, and we have strong reason to worry about the independence and freedom of this national institution.”

It concluded: “Regardless, we continue to stand proudly with the values we promoted that were presented in our program, and with everyone we have collaborated with, we cherish every one of our visitors who showed us support.”