Artists and museums sue Israel’s ministry of culture

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Miri Regev, Israel’s culture minister

A group of Israeli artists, museum directors and art educators quietly filed a lawsuit in July against the country’s ministry of culture, according to a petition seen by The Art Newspaper. Artists and cultural institutions are feeling increasingly intimidated under the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, especially since Miri Regev, an Israeli army brigadier-general, became the country’s minister of culture in 2015. Protests against threats to freedom of speech flared all summer. 

Threats to funding based on policies that limit freedom of expression could be a “death blow to culture institutions that rely heavily on public funding”, says one of the petitioners in the lawsuit, who asked not to be named.

The lawsuit demands, based on the freedom of information law, that the culture ministry and the Israeli Council for Culture and Art reveal the ministry’s and council’s criteria for appointments and decision-making.

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