Belgian artist slams Greek peers over criticism after festival furor

Belgian artist slams Greek peers over criticism after festival furor

Renowned artist Jan Fabre has lashed out at his Greek colleagues following criticism from the latter over the Belgian’s choices for the Athens and Epidaurus Festival, of which he was appointed artistic director last month before resigning from the post amid controversy in the wake of a press conference outlining this summer’s program.

“I hope that no artist, anywhere in the world, is ever labeled as a persona non grata,” Fabre said in an open letter late on Friday, written in response to a missive signed by dozens of Greek artists who took issue with his program that consisted exclusively of Belgian artists.

Fabre explained that he had not dismissed the idea of including Greek artists on the roster, but felt that a local artistic director would be more suitable to make the selection, adding that his proposal was rejected by the festival’s board and not made public by the Culture Ministry.

Fabre further urged his Greek colleagues to consider the future of Greek art. “You opened your mouths about my appointment and my program as supervisor – and you opened them wide, with passion and as one. Keep them open, and let this be the start rather than the end,” he said. “But don’t forget to also open your ears and eyes.”

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