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Houellebecq to be staged in Dubrovnik despite security risks

After controversy on freedom of expression

28 May, 12:41
(ANSA) - ZAGREB - A stage adaptation of ''The Elementary Particles'', based on the 1998 novel written by French writer Michel Houellebecq, which was ruled out of the programme of the festival of Dubrovnik, Croatia, ''for security reasons'' two weeks ago, at the suggestion of the Ministry of Interior in Zagreb, will eventually be staged on a beach near the Croatian town in late July.

This was decided yesterday during a joint meeting, by the Direction Board of the 66th Festival of Dubrovnik, the most popular summer cultural event in Croatia, and the Ministry of Culture, that will cover additional security costs, about 60,000. Nikola Dobroslavi, president of the Region of Dubrovnik and member of the Conservative party Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), was the first to oppose the show, being forced, he said, not so much by the fear of possible terror acts, but above all ''by the possibility that religious feelings of the Muslim who reside in Dubrovnik and their many guests who visit the city during the summer may be offended''.

According to him, Houellebecq ''is known for his offensive comments on Islam''. An analysis of the Ministry of the Interior, made at Dobroslavi's request, warned of security risks, but did not comment on the opinions of the French writer.


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