The billboard war in Hungary – Budapest assembly approves decree on protecting city’s identity
Budapest’s municipal assembly on Wednesday approved a decree on protecting the city’s image and identity largely related to its architectural heritage and Margaret Island.
The regulations relate to the preservation of Budapest’s characteristic identity and the uniform protection of the built and the natural environment, according to the decree sponsored by the deputy mayor, Balázs Szeneczey.
The assembly passed the measure with 26 votes in favour, 1 vote against and 2 abstentions.
In the debate preceding the vote, Marcell Tokody of the opposition Jobbik party, complained that under the new rules placements of outdoor advertising would be restricted. This concern was dismissed by ruling party Fidesz-Christian-Democrat representatives.
Many opposition representatives also backed the measures, saying Budapest had been blighted by too many billboards.
According to reports, the Jobbik party has bought infrastructure for advertisements reportedly owned by business magnate Lajos Simicska among others,
Ever since the purchase, images depicting government officials and people close to the ruling Fidesz party in an unflattering light have reappeared on the hoardings.