Thursday, June 6, 2013

Culture Update

The Honduran Secretary of Culture, Arts, and Sports (SCAD), Tulio Mariano Gonzalez, has been criticized fiercely for failure to support national cultural institutions, many of which are warning that without funding, they may have to close.

Gonzalez told reporters last week that the administration of Porfirio Lobo Sosa does not intend to close any cultural institutions.  He specifically told reporters it was not their intention to close national schools like the National Academy of Art.  Gonzalez said:
there is no danger of any museum closing...we invite those who lie and manipulate to visit museums.

It was a strange response to the series of press reports on cultural institutions in danger of closing.  It echoes his response to the director of the Casa de Morazan historical house museum, who announced the museum would close on June 30.  At that time Gonzalez said:
"The Morazan House museum should be open".

He offered to meet with employees of the Casa de Morazan, but did not offer more funding. 

What he did do was arrange with the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History to loan 42 historical objects and paintings to the museum, which still is warning it will close for lack of funding.

It has been two years since the government allocated any budget to the National School of Art. According to faculty member Gabriel Zaldívar:
The school is in a crisis situation, it is acephalic and the post of director was abolished [by the government], there are problems in the building, a lack of equipment and supplies to teach classes.

With the Minister of Culture refusing to respond, the Art School will seek a meeting with the Minister of Education to look for a solution.
Meanwhile, the Casa de Morazan museum began its countdown to closing at the end of June.

SCAD response?  We will not permit any museum to close. But don't ask us for any money.

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