Speaker of Parliament Richard Sulík (SaS) on Wednesday, August 4, announced that an expert commission will assess the historical, artistic and political aspects of a statue of 9th-century ruler Svätopluk installed in front of Bratislava Castle shortly before the general election on June 12. Sulík has said he views the unveiling of the sculpture by then-governing politicians – Sulík's predecessor Pavol Paška and ex-premier Robert Fico – along with President Ivan Gašparovič, on June 6, as politically-driven.
Sulík added that he would decide on the fate of the statue based on consultations with the commission.
Historian Marína Zavacká was tasked with selecting the commission members and said that her choices comprised experts in architecture, the creative arts, history, archaeology as well as modern history. The commission will include archaeologists Tatiana Štefanovičová, Eduard Krekovič and Štefan Holčík, former rector of the Creative Arts University Ján Hoffstadter, Bratislava’s chief architect Štefan Šlachta, and historians Roman Holec and Ján Steinhubel. Part-time collaborators are historians L. Vrtel, J. Rogulová and V. Kratochvíl, Creative Arts University vice-rector B. Koklesová, social anthropologist M. Kanovský and archaeologist V. Turčan.
Former culture minister Marek Maďarič (Smer) criticised Sulík and cast doubt on the qualifications of Zavacká. “She doesn’t specialise in the Middle Ages, so it's a mistake also in this respect,” he told the TASR newswire, adding that he views the decision to carry out the evaluation as a political move. Representatives of Smer had a majority right in the previous electoral term to set up a statue of Svätopluk, said Smer chairman Robert Fico and former Parliamentary Chairman Pavol Paška at a press conference.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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5. Aug 2010 at 14:00