August 27, 2011

Government party ends freedom of speech room in parliament

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 1:48 pm

The Freethinkers Room in the buildings of parliament has ceased to exist. The exhibition of endangered art was abandoned some time during the past months by government party VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy), Volkskrant reports.

The exhibition was founded in the party’s quarters in 2008, and was an initiative by VVD and PVV (Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party) who were both in opposition to the governing coalition at the time.

The room was used to display art of anti-Islamic xenophobes. When a left wing politician suggested that the room also host the “Wilders is an extremist” poster, PVV quit the initiative. Later prime minister Rutte banned further art critical of Wilders from the room, even though its makers had received “grievous threats“.

At the time one commentator surmised that Rutte built his Freethinkers Room mainly so that he “could have a photo opportunity with the parents of Theo van Gogh”. De Pers on the other hand states that the room was merely a cheap campaign trick to begin with.

(Photo: the poster by “Internationale Socialisten” that led to the arrest of three protesters, and to the beginning of the end of the Freethinkers Room. Text: “Geert Wilders. Extremist. Can cause damage to you and the society.”)

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