The Antwerp coalition partners Open Vld and Vooruit are bored with the decision of Alderman of Culture Nabilla Ait Daoud (N-VA) to refuse a city poem by Ruth Lasters. “This decision is a mistake,” says Open Vld alderman Erica Caluwaerts.
Sacha Van Wiele
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The coalition partners are cautious in their response. It is clear that they are not happy with the refusal of this urban poem about education.
“Thoughts are free, so the poems must be free,” says Caluwaerts. With this she paraphrases the reaction that Antwerp mayor Bart De Wever (N-VA) gave to the criticism of Vooruit ships Tom Meeuws on the war on drugs. De Wever said: “The thoughts are free, we will continue the policy”.
“As a liberal, I can only say that the decision to refuse the urban poem is a mistake,” says Caluwaerts. “I will therefore make this known to the board of aldermen on Friday.”
Antwerp Vooruit chairperson and councilor Tatjana Scheck is cautious.
“Artistic freedom is sacred to me,” says Scheck. “I will therefore question the aldermen about this in the council committee. I want to know based on what this decision was made and what her view on the pool of city poets. It cannot be that city poets are only allowed to sing the praises of the emperor. As a city council, you also have to be able to tolerate criticism.”