The new culture bill before parliament will create “crystal clear and predictable” conditions around the funding and operation of theatres, the Ministry of Human Resources said on Monday.
Under the bill, local councils will still be free to decide whether or not they want to operate their own theatres, the ministry said in a statement. If they choose to run a theatre, they will also have to determine whether it should be entirely locally funded or operated under a mixed funding scheme involving both the state and the local council, it added.
“This will create clear conditions,” the statement said. “The upkeep of the theatre will be the full responsibility of its manager.”
Local council-run theatres will be financed from the local council’s budget, state theatres from the state budget and theatres with a mixed operating structure will be financed by both entities, the ministry said.
As regards a sexual harassment scandal at Budapest’s Katona József Theatre, which involved acclaimed stage and film director Péter Gothár, the ministry said there would have to be consequences regarding the affair.
Meanwhile, it said the opposition’s “attempts to provoke an uproar” over the bill was built on “the usual concocting of fake news”.
It slammed reports that Budapest’s theatres would have to close down as “lies”, arguing that the municipal council would be free to operate and finance its own theatres.
A theatre owned by the municipal council would only have to close if the municipal assembly decided it no longer wanted to operate it, the ministry insisted.