Simonišek Stays Acting Director of Museum of Modern Art, Despite Protests by Zdenka Badovina

By , 30 Dec 2020, 11:19 AM Politics
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STA, 29 December 2020 - The Culture Ministry has once again appointed Robert Simonišek acting director of the Museum of Modern Art after the Administrative Court found the previous appointment decree lacking and ordered the ministry to see to the issue. The ministry told the STA on Tuesday it had remedied the identified shortcomings in a new decree.

The ministry highlighted that the court had found the previous decree lacking when it came to the appointment justification - a flaw that has been fixed in the latest decree, it said.

Under the decree Simonišek assumed office on 23 December and will be at the helm of the museum until a full-fledged director is appointed but no longer than one year.

The decision had been challenged by previous acting director Zdenka Badovinac, who had been at the helm of the museum since 1993. She claims that her right to equality before the law was violated during the appointment procedure, newspaper Dnevnik reported last week.

"The minister is said to have appointed the new acting director without reviewing whether they, same as her [Badovinac], met the criteria for the post, and the choice is said to have been politically motivated," Dnevnik said.

The latest public call for full-fledged director is not yet completed, the ministry said, adding that by appointing acting director it had secured the museum's undisrupted performance.

It was determined that Simonišek fulfilled all the selection criteria even prior to the first decree, the ministry said, noting that he had a PhD in art history and more than eleven years of experience in the field of culture and museum studies.

The third iteration of the public call for the post of director was published in early December, a day after the government adopted a decree amending the museum's articles of association.

The step softened candidate selection criteria. Prior to the changes, candidates eligible to be appointed had to have at least five years of work experience related to the institution's field of expertise.

Under the decree, it is sufficient now that a candidate has five years of leadership experience at the minimum and that they are familiar with the museum's work.

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