A European Union committee for the Capital of Culture contest rejected a video entry because it shows "too many white people," Christian crosses, and not enough migrants, according to published reports.
The criticism was leveled at an entry submitted by the Hungarian city of Székesfehérvár. The short film shows people dancing in the streets, elderly men playing chess, churches, children playing, a happy couple, and other scenes.
A European cultural "expert" called it a "propaganda film for white Christian Europe; everyone is white, happy and dancing in the streets."
The city received the comments as a strike against its Christian and Jewish communities.
How did the city respond?
In a press conference, the Mayor of Székesfehérvár, András Cser-Palkovics, congratulated the cities that were chosen to move forward in the contest.
But he also said the decision to exclude his city's entry was purely political.
He also criticized the committee for saying, “They left the poor and the migrants out of the film, but at the same time, there were too many crosses, churches, and what was even worse, the attitude of the city, because they regarded this as a value.”
During the press conference, Cser-Palkovics made the following statement, which is translated from a Hungarian website. He said:
We love our city with our temples and our crosses. We love being safe, calm, and people can democratically confess their own values. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this project, and I would like to emphasize this: we have submitted unanimous support. As we have indicated before, we want to implement many points of the competition, whether we win or not. In the coming weeks and months, I would like to ask the General Assembly to look at what exactly can be done by our specialists and partners. I would like to bring the matter before the general assembly and inform all members of the board about the style and content of the hearing as well as about practically refusing to deny our own culture.
On YouTube, the video has received more than 7,000 views.
Which cities were chosen?
The committee recommended entries from Győr, Debrecen and Veszprém as finalists for the European Capital of Culture contest.
On its website, the European Capitals of Culture says its mission is to:
Highlight the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe.
Celebrate the cultural features Europeans share.
Increase European citizens' sense of belonging to a common cultural area.
Foster the contribution of culture to the development of cities.
The Capital of Culture title has been awarded to more than 50 cities across the European Union, according to the website.