Romanian arts association Arcen is organising a protest over the planned closure of state-run channel TVR Cultural.
Arcen is asking members of the public to protest against the move in Bucharest city centre on Thursday evening, saying in a statement: “TVR Cultural is the only TV station exclusively dedicated to culture, an non-political meeting place for intellectuals, cultural people and in general people with constructive ideas.”
Public broadcaster TVR announced the closure of TVR Cultural and news channel TVR Info this week, blaming financial troubles and its recently posted losses of €145m (US$179m).
However, Arcen today argued that the budget of TVR Cultural is just 1.7% of the total for TVR. “We are witnessing aberrant political decisions, delivering fatal blows to public cultural institutions. The abolition of the channel is not a solution to the economic problems of public television.”
Arcen also slammed the low quality of some TV content in general, blaming it for illiteracy and rising failure rates for baccalaureate students.
The move means the two channels will go dark, expected this autumn, and their programmes will go over to flagship channels TVR1 and TVR2, which will be rebranded TVR2 Cultural, according to local media.