Culture Minister rejects demands for cultural boycott of Israel

The flag of IsraelThe flag of Israel.Photo:

Culture Minister Linda Hofstad Helleland throws herself into the debate about the controversial artwork “Nationaltheatret beklager.” She’s not going to follow the calls for a cultural boycott of Israel.

The controversial art video was shown during the Ibsen Festival in late September.

– Boycott of Israel is not Norwegian politics,  Culture Helleland ascertain in a reply letter to Hans Fredrik Grøvan (KrF),  the Christian newspaper Dagen writes.

Last week  parliamentary member Hans Fredrik Grøvan asked for a response from Helleland about her opinion on a cultural boycott of Israel in the wake of the trouble caused by the video work “Nationaltheatret beklager” by artists Pia Maria Roll and Marius von der Fehr.

The video, which was shown during the Ibsen Festival,looks and sounds like a public excuse from  Nationaltheatret in Oslo  for having collaborated with the Israeli National Theatre Habima.

The language spoken in the video is  English and it has gotten a good reception in Palestinian and artistic groups and sets and also movements for a boycott of Israel.

– A boycott of Israeli artists and cultural institutions will not be a constructive contribution to resolving the Middle East conflict.

And to the best of my knowledge, none of the key players of the cultural sector in Norway are calling for a cultural boycott of Israel  ,  Helleland writes.

She also adds that the freedom of expression and artistic freedom has to be protected.

– But naturally, this does not mean that we have to agree with everything that is said, written or expressed in other ways,  Helleland says.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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