Photo: MTI

Budapest mayor marks Day of Hungarian Culture

"Hungary's diverse culture must be made widely available," Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony said in a Facebook post marking the Day of Hungarian Culture on Monday.

Referring to the first decades of the 19th century, Karacsony said it had been a time when “culture ceased to be a privilege and became a public asset… That is the task now: to make it available for the masses and to present it as an experience.”

Concerning culture and art, Karacsony said: “No political power should be an unwelcome critic or, even worse, a censor… Art is free, and so are artists; in Budapest they are.”

Karacsony said that in “sad times”, culture needed to be promoted and supported, adding that “the dividing line between politics and culture should be respected, and Budapest’s cultural assets and institutions protected and supported by all available means.”

“A wise city leadership sees greater variety as a source of greater wealth,” Karacsony quoted author Gyorgy Konrad as saying.

The Day of Hungarian Culture has been observed ever since 1989 to mark the anniversary of the completion of Ferenc Kolcsey’s Hymn, the poem that later became Hungary’s national anthem, on January 22, 1823.

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