Romania’s culture ministry has ordered an inquiry after hundreds of copies of a newspaper reportedly with an anti-Semitic content were distributed to theatergoers at Romania’s National Theater.
The incident happened on Sunday apparently without the approval of theater management. A photo shows the acting manager was in the auditorium when the newspaper was handed out.
Actor Mihai Calin said that 500 copies of ‘Certitude’, a “nationalist, racist and anti-European” publication had been distributed to spectators ahead of a performance by nationalist director and actor, Dan Puric, who is known for his pro-Russian sentiments.
Mircea Rusu, acting manger of the Bucharest National Theater on Monday called for a police inquiry. He called it „subversive activity” and denied he was pro-Russian.
„I am not pro-Putin! Quite the contrary! I know too well what the Russians did in 200 years in our country!” he said Monday.
Romanian actor Mihai Calin, however, accused the manager of turning a blind eye to the incident before the furor erupted publicly. He called for the manager to be fired.
It is latest criticism of the prestigious theater which has come under fire in recent week for refusing to publicly support Ukraine. Other Romanian theaters have lit up their facades with the Ukrainian flag and spoken about artists who have been injured or killed in the one-month war.
„The anti-Semitic newspaper was given to spectators right in front of the interim general manager. The theater managers now say they want a a police probe! What hypocrisy!” the actor wrote on Facebook, posting a photograph of the auditorium.
Iulian Bulai, the parliament chairman for the Culture, Arts and Mass-Media Commission, asked Culture Minister Lucian Romaşcanu to fire the interim director.
The theater which is Romania’s biggest has been accused of taking a pro-Russian line in the Ukraine war.
Managers have come under fire for not allowing actors to show their support for Ukrainian colleagues who have been casualties of the war.
The minister said an internal inquiry was underway.
“We can’t tolerate that a cultural reference point …becoming a place where private materials are propagated, regardless of their content, and even more so when they make propaganda that is contrary to Romania’s interests.”