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Magyar Hírlap - Hungary | 08/02/2008

No venue for alternative culture in Budapest

The alternative cultural centre Kultiplex in downtown Budapest is to give way to a hotel complex. Alternative culture is not granted due respect, despite its important achievements, the newspaper writes. "In some sense, this culture is even worse off than in the 1980s. Its locations are either forced to close down or must struggle to survive at all, and what is most regrettable: nobody seems interested in them nowadays. Even onetime underground activist Gábor Demszky, today Budapest's mayor, doesn't seem to care about the underground at all – only about the 'overground', that is, property available for development. Whether a cultural scene exists which is free by definition – neither 'rightist' nor 'leftist' – seems to be of no concern at all to the politicians. For this reason, the battle with today's money-hungry political elite is probably even more hopeless than the one people used to have to fight with the party. Although now, nothing is banned, at least in theory."

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