Arts world turns its back on Greek culture minister

The Association of Greek Archaeologists described Mendoni as “persona non grata” for the world of culture while the executive board of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival called on her to resign immediately. [EPA-EFE/ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU]

A number of associations representing Greek arts have issued strong statements against culture minister Lina Mendoni following her refusal to resign following a scandal of alleged rapes and paedophilia in theatre.

The Association of Greek Archaeologists described Mendoni as “persona non grata” in the world of culture while the executive board of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival called on her to resign immediately.

The Greek Film Academy said someone has to take the political responsibility after former national theatre director, Dimitris Lignadis, was arrested on suspicion of rape and is now in custody.

Lignadis was a personal choice of the culture minister. In the beginning, she refused to fire the famous actor from his post but a few days later admitted: “He deceived me […] with his deep acting art, he was trying to convince us that he has nothing to do with the rumours.”

“Dimitris Lignadis is a dangerous man, but that has emerged only now,” she said, stressing that Lignadis had never been her “personal friend”.

Although the conservative New Democracy government admitted that Mendoni made mistakes on a communication level, a government spokesperson said Mendoni still enjoys Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s trust.

Opposition parties have lashed out against the government accusing it of having attempted to cover up the scandal. (Sarantis Michalopoulos | EURACTIV.com)

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