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Orbán: In April I’ll Give You Notes to Play
With this even for him strange comment Orbán opened the Magyar Zene Háza, the Hungarian House of Music.
We remember that Orbán wants to change the largest park of Pest into a cultural quarter, Éva trough the years repeatedly covered this as well. Városliget is roughly 1 400 by 750 m small, about 1/3 of Central Park New York, surrounded by the Szépművészeti Múzeum (Museum of Fine Arts), the Műcsarnok (Halls of Art), Budapest Zoo, Széchenyi Thermal Bath, Hősök tere (Heroes square) with the millennium memorial of 1895, and right behind the Vajdahunyad Castle, which dates only from the end of the 19th century as well, showing the traditional elements of Hungarian architecture and housing the Agricultural Museum. Within the core of the park some small buildings are spread, restaurants, memorials, pavilions, just only one place was used for a massive building. At that place used to be the Iparcsarnok (Industrial Hall), used from 1885 first as exhibition place of a craft collection, it was in use for different museums and for exhibitions through the years, until it has been severely damaged during the war and demolished in 1947. Later pavilions and glass houses served for the Budapest Nemzetközi Vásár (International Fair). The fairs were moved to today’s way larger Hungexpo area in 1974 and in 1985 opened in the place the Petőfi Csarnok, reduced to a massive, ugly building in the typical architecture of the communist days. Orbán replaces this trough a larger concrete block, the new Ethnographic Museum.
To be able to empty Buda castle from the galleries and museums and for future use as centre of power there have to be found new homes for the country’s cultural treasures. “The uneducated, neo-rich, parvenu right wants to settle for the sacred memory of the Habsburg kingdom in the Castle, from which it receives only a tertiary imitation that is barely reminiscent of the Horthy era” Miklós Gáspár Tamás wrote in 2016 ►HU. This and the plan to remodel Budapest’s existing buildings back to the architecture of the darkest days of our history are the thriving wishes of Orbán behind the massive building activity in Városliget.
As long as Budapest was in FIDESZ hands everything went on as Orbán desired. With the elections in 2019 not only the people were against these plans, but the city government as well. Orbán reacted in his own way, he changed the law and since now the building departments are no longer part of the local governments, but integrated into the national bureaucracy, and the local governments can’t decide about planning and zoning, if the central government has plans with that area.
And of course this was not the end of ugly tricks the regime has. The definition of park in Hungarian law has not been changed, since there was a way to do it much more silently. Since the area of Szépművészeti Múzeum and the Műcsarnok left and right of the Heroes Square were not part green areas of course they have been defined as own area and taken out of the Városliget. And with stamping this document alone the percentage of green grew in the now smaller Városliget. 444 listed ►HU the full amount of cheating how the green area could be reduced significantly and still results in a higher percentage.
Yesterday in the middle of Városliget the new building of the Magyar Zene Háza was opened. And indeed he promised to bring notes in April, and “that the song of the left should be pulled out in April” ►HU. It was in the afternoon of the Hungarian Culture Day when Orbán decided what Hungarian culture has to be like. He told the public that the opposition has been wrong to be against the project, but forgot to mention that 64 % did not want to extend the cultural area into the park, but 97 % wanted to improve the natural areas of Városliget during the Tarlós era ►HU. Orbán even made fun of Gergely Karácsony: “the mayor just had something else to do today,” he said ►HU. Yes, he had. Karácsony wrote ►HU: “On Culture Day, it is particularly important to remind ourselves that this building was built not in the name of culture but in the spirit of barbaric violence. Violence against the city’s most important public park. [….] Violence against the will of the people [….] violence against taxpayers, because, as usual, the investment has been many times the cost originally planned – it cost more than 10 million [28 200 €] a square meter. [….] And if Hungary did not have a violent and barbaric government, but a cultured government in this sense, perhaps with such support, a much more beautiful House of Music could have been built in another location.”