Culture minister under fire for controversial sackings


Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said he wants to meet with the signatories of a petition calling for the dismissal of Culture Minister Antonín Staněk over the sacking of the head of the Czech National Gallery Jiří Fajt and the head of the Olomouc Museum of Arts Michal Soukup.

The petition was signed by leading Czech artists and heads of cultural institutions. Babiš said on Facebook he had received assurances from the culture minister that there were valid reasons for the sackings.

The culture minister’s decision was also questioned by Social Democratic Party deputy chair Roman Onderka, who criticized the fact that the minister had failed to inform his party’s leadership about his intention.

He said that unless the minister produced a satisfactory explanation the party leadership would consider his dismissal.