Brno clinic denies closing display out of fears of Romanies

Brno, 13. 6. 2005, 19:15 (CTK)

The Oncological Clinic in Brno today denied that the hospital gallery had dismantled an art exhibition out of fears of Romanies visiting a hospitalised woman, hospital spokeswoman Zuzana Joukalova has told CTK. Joukalova thereby dismissed the information published in the latest issue of the political weekly Tyden, saying that hospital staff along with the Zluty kopec (Yellow Hill) gallery hid the paintings since they were afraid that they could be stolen by people coming to see the Romany woman.

"The display was only interrupted for two days due to technical reasons, and now it is open to the public again," Joukalova said.

However, Tyden reported that even gallery owner Miroslav Vanacek confirmed that the exhibition of artist Ivana Baraziova had been closed.

"A Romany woman was admitted as a patient to the clinic and we have decided that we would rather dismantle the exhibition for the period of her stay," the weekly quotes Vanecek as saying. CTK has not succeeded in contacting Vanecek by phone for comments.

Tyden wrote that the closure of the art exhibition was proposed by the hospital spokeswoman. "I saw several times how they [Romanies] were looking at the pictures when they should not have been there any longer," Tyden quotes her as saying.

According to Joukalova, the paintings by Baraziova were not insured and their value exceeded 300,000 crowns. "It was my duty to warn the gallery owner of the risk," Joukalova said in Tyden.

Well, Gypsies are thieves, are they not, and would run off with the art display. Sure. Yes folks, I am sarcastic.