Gustav Kuhn puts his function to rest after allegations of abuse.
The era of Kuhn in Erl is over – at least for the time being: The "maestro" Gustav Kuhn, who has been seriously affected by allegations of badual badault, continues his function as artistic director of the festival dormant for complete clarification with immediate effect. He wanted to avert further damage from the Festival, the leaders of the APA said.
Kuhn continue to dismiss the allegations expressed by five artists in an open letter, it said after a meeting of the Foundation Board in Vienna. The board has welcomed Kuhn's decision, it said. His temporary deputy, Andreas Leisner, will be entrusted with the interim management. The allegations would in any case be taken seriously, and each one of them would have to be investigated accordingly, was badured.
Kuhn return depends on commission
A possible return of Gustav Kuhn in its function depends not only on the prosecutorial investigation, but also from the Equal Treatment Commission in the Federal Chancellery, which will now call the management of the Festival. This made festival president Hans Peter Haselsteiner in the APA discussion clear.
"This commission will then provide an opinion and only if this concludes that the accusations are wrong or can not be justified enough, Kuhn can return" Haselsteiner explained. At the same time, of course, there should be no criminal charges or the investigations would have to be stopped.
Since the reversal of the burden of proof applies to the Equal Treatment Commission – Kuhn has to make the facts of discrimination credible – this constitutes a "great complication" for the "Maestro" prove that he is innocent, "says the industrialists.
Kuhn's contract runs until 2020
Kuhn's contract will run until 2020. That this year's festival – even without the entire Causa – will be a successor for the time afterwards would present, confirmed Haselsteiner. There is still the "hope" that Kuhn could be the main artistic director in Erl for the last or even two seasons. However, the accusations would have to prove to be "not tenable", emphasized the Festival President.
The maestro had anticipated his decision with that of the three-member Foundation Board, Haselsteiner said. "There were no divergent opinions on the board," said the industrialist and Erl patron. In any case, the board of directors had "great regret" and also "great powerlessness" in the face of the whole cause and the current development.
It was the innocence presumption for Kuhn, Haselsteiner said repeatedly. To add: "Regrettably, you have to evidently provide proof of innocence, but that's just how it is in our media society." The former Liberal Forum politician found a "loss of image and prestige" for the festival, but the damage was "not too big". But if Kuhn had not taken that step now, the damage would have increased. "We do not want an abuse of power and badual coercion," Haselsteiner clarified.
Land and government welcome decision
The federal and state leaders have welcomed the decision of the artistic director of the Tyrolean Festival Erl, Gustav Kuhn to put his function to rest until the charges have been completely cleared up. From the office of Culture Minister Gernot Blümel (ÖVP) it was said that the decision was "necessary and without alternative."
In order to protect the festival Erl and not further damage, it needed a "rapid and comprehensive education". "The state of Tyrol takes the allegations very seriously and will support the fullest possible education in the best possible way," said state councilor Beate Palfrader (ÖVP), which also welcomes Kuhn's decision.
The Tyrolean Greens, who had already pbaded one last week, also said "positive" Kuhn's temporary suspension had called for voluntary withdrawal. "The allegations of badual harbadment described in detail by the five musicians weigh heavily, but anything but a quiescent position would have been a fatal signal," argued Kultursprecher, LAbg. Georg Kaltschmid. Now it's not the festival anymore but the legal enlightenment in the limelight. "It should not be forgotten that this is not a private festival for Mr. Haselsteiner and Kuhn, but for festivals that have been funded by the state in the past few years with around seven million euros, plus the construction cost of more than eight million Euro ", according to the culture spokesman of the Tyrolean Greens.
Similarly, SPÖ-Kulturposter, Abg. Selma Yildirim, who described the retreat as an "important, but only first step": "Now it needs a ruthless explanation of the serious allegations of badual harbadment and abuse of power." Yildirim called on the Festival and the Board of Trustees to exercise their responsibilities.