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Artists clash with Krakow government: Should Bunkier Sztuki and MOCAK be merged?

Bunkier Sztuki
Bunkier Sztuki

Krakow mayor Jacek Majchrowski wants to unite local art gallery Bunkier Sztuki with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Kakow (MOCAK). But many in the art community oppose the plan.

The merger would see both art houses under the MOCAK name and leadership. The local government cites a gradual decline in the number of exhibitions and visitors at Bunkier Sztuki – the reverse has been true at MOCAK – as well as their desire to renovate the titular “bunker.”

However, the proposal has many opponents – among them Bunkier employees, local artists and art critics, and 2018 mayoral election rival Łukasz Gibała – some of whom have staged several protests. They claim that the two institutions have distinctly different characters which should be preserved in the interests of artistic diversity in Krakow: while MOCAK features more establishment contemporary artists, Bunkier has traditionally been seen as friendlier to beginner artists trying to build their reputations.

Majchrowski’s office plans to consult with several government cultural institutions and ask consent from the city council to move forward with the plan.

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