Kunsthalle Bratislava statement, 16.01.2024

The director of Kunsthalle Bratislava Jen Kratochvil has resigned from his position effective from the date 15.01.2024 and our economic director Denisa Zlata has temporarily stepped in as a statutory representative.

Today (16.01.2024) it has been communicated to us from the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, that the financing of our artistic and educational program for the year 2024, which had been prepared by our internal and external curators, has been revoked.

We stand at a point where the experienced, respected, professionals, scholars, artists, pedagogues, curators, and cultural workers are facing accusations of propagating values that are “putting the future of children in Slovakia in jeopardy”.

We are disturbed by the current steps that the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic has taken, and we have strong reasons to worry about the independence and freedom of this national institution.

Regardless, we continue to stand proudly with the values we promoted that were presented in our program, and with everyone we have collaborated with, we cherish every one of our visitors who showed us support.



Kunsthalle Bratislava statement, 05.03.2024

With this statement, we would like to offer transparency regarding the current issues and the uncertain future of Kunsthalle Bratislava (KHB). On Friday 9/2/24 we electronically received an order from the Minister of Culture of the Slovak Republic about the preliminary abolishment and merging of KHB with the Slovak National Gallery (SNG), effective from 31/3/24, the document is dated 19/1/24. Due to this, on Tuesday, 27/2/24 Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (AFAD) and the platform Otvorena Kultura! (OK!) hosted a public discussion regarding the future of KHB.


Despite the fact that SNG director Alexandra Kusá declared her goodwill towards preserving the independence of KHB and helping the organization, she avoided responding to the question regarding the current team members during the discussion. The day following the discussion, the director of KHB was informed that “due to streamlining and optimization of the activities of KHB, employment contracts wouldn’t be continued with SNG” leaving all KHB employees without a job from 01/04/24. The following decision effectively results in the closing of the institution and stripping it of its autonomy.


During the intense public discussion, many topics were brought up. Most notably, the General Director of the Cultural Heritage and State Language Section at the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic (MK SR) Peter Lukáč, directly confirmed that the decision about the abolishment and merging of KHB with SNG was made without any qualified committee, but rather came from Minister Martina Šimkovičová herself.


We emphasize that our team was asked to present the 2024 program to MK SR on 16/1/24 (which is not standard practice), based on which the program funding was denied. The internal audit was first mentioned as the basis for defunding at the public discussion. The internal audit reported deficiencies primarily of an administrative nature and, with the exception of two tasks due by the end of March, we had addressed and corrected all of the items of deficiency by the end of January. Therefore, it appears that the decision about KHB was motivated by the program, not by irresponsible financial management. The notion of discrediting KHB as an institution and the work of its team members was sensed from the misleading information and the steps taken by SNG and MK SR.


We, the employees of KHB, are appalled by the steps taken by the ministry towards Slovakia’s youngest contemporary art institution, and we strongly condemn this type of untransparent decision-making. We continue to stand proudly by the values we promoted through our program and we would like to thank AFAD & OK! for organizing this discussion and offering support in unthinkable times, we also thank every one of our visitors for their time, trust, and support.