Arts community should not be afraid to address political issues

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
22 April 2018

Ahead of tomorrow’s painting over of the Maser ‘Repeal the Eighth’ mural, Labour spokesperson on Community Arts and Dublin City Councillor, Rebecca Moynihan, has questioned the legal basis for the removal of the mural.

This comes as the Charities Regulator informed the Project Arts Centre that they were in breach of the Charities Act 2009, and could be struck off the Charities Register.

Councillor Moynihan said: 

“The Charities Regulator should make clear on what legal basis they threatened to remove charitable status from the Project Arts Centre.

“While there are guidelines developed by the regulator for charities in relation to engaging in political activity outside of their remit, as an arts organisation the right to promote artistic work which addresses topical issues of the day and allows for freedom of expression is fundamental

“This is not the first time that the Project Arts Centre has used its iconic blue wall to play host to political art. A mural by artist Sums which was painted in support of marriage equality during the 2015 referendum and the Project Arts Centre’s charitable status was not threatened then.

“This bizarre decision will have a chill effect on arts organisations in future years who may be afraid to address political issues for fear of losing their charitable status. It is not the job of the Charities Regulator to decide what constitutes acceptable art and the Regulator must immediately outline what legal advice they sought before issuing this draconian threat to the Project Arts Centre.”

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