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CONTROVERSY AT SLOVAK NATIONAL THEATER

Conflict has raged in the media over Culture Minister Ivan Hudec's dismissal on 22 July of Peter Mikulik, stage director at the Slovak National Theater (SND). Hudec replaced Mikulik with actor Lubomir Paulovic and renamed the SND the P. O. Hviezdoslav Theater. SND dramaturg Martin Porubjak told Narodna obroda on 30 July, "I do not consider Paulovic a director at the P. O. Hviezdoslav Theater, since such a theater does not exist and no court would accept his appointment.... He was supported neither by the SND's director-general nor by a single actor." Previously, SND department chiefs were named by the Culture Ministry at the recommendation of the SND's director-general, but a new directive took effect on 1 January allowing the culture minister to name department directors without the director-general's agreement. Porubjak said the move conflicts with the civil and labor codes. Several famous actors have announced that they will leave the theater in protest. - Sharon Fisher

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