Officially it has not been confirmed by the Greek Ministry of Culture. But Belgian artist Jan Fabre, the controversial curator of the Athens & Epidaurus Festival, told a Belgian newspaper that he has submitted his resignation.
The Greek Festival curator triggered a storm of reactions when he decided to exclude Greek artists from this year’s Athens & Epidaurus Festival and dedicate this year’s event to “Belgian spirit.” Many expressed their frustration and indignation over this controversial decision and spoke of a “Belgian Festival”, while actress and director Olia Lazaridou commented that this was a case of “colonization”.
Fabre complained that he was displeased as he could not work in a “hostile artistic environment” and that he did not receive a “carte banche” as the Greeks had promised him.
“I had the mandate of the Greek Minister of Culture agreed to make artistic choices in complete freedom,” said Fabre Saturday in a brief press release. “This no longer seems possible in Greece. I do not want to work in a hostile artistic environment that I had entered with an open mind and open heart.”