Budapest Burns Supper Raises HUF 12 million

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Photo by Pelle Photo

The organizers of the 26th annual Budapest Burns Supper have said they raised HUF 12 million at the black tie event in the Grand Ball Room of the Corinthia Hotel Budapest on January 28.

In social media posts the Robert Burns International Foundation expressed its delight at the amount raised.

“We could not have done it without you, and we are thrilled to have your support. We will continue working towards our mission to help sick and underprivileged children with your donations. You truly make a difference, and we are incredibly grateful,” the RBIF said.

FirstMed Budapest received the Ferenc Puskás-Sir Alex Ferguson Trophy for the RBIF’s Sponsor of the Year award. “We appreciate this recognition and look forward to continuing our cooperation to build a better world for sick and underprivileged children, for many years to come,” said Dennis A. Diokno, founder and managing director of the firm.

The pipers and drummers flown in from Scotland to take part in the 26th Budapest Burns Supper also attended the Hungarian Parliament on January 30, where they played for the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

El Greco Exhibit Extending Opening Hours

Extended viewing hours will be in place on the last weekends of the El Greco exhibition of the Museum of Fine Arts, which almost 150,000 people have seen since its opening last October, the institution told state news agency MTI on February 4. This Sunday (February 12), the museum will open its doors an hour earlier, at 9 a.m., and the exhibition will be open until 7 p.m. On the following (and closing) weekend, February 18 and 19, visitors will be welcome from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. This is the first time the Hungarian public has been able to see an exhibition comprehensively presenting El Greco’s oeuvre in Budapest.

Hungary Adopting Performance-based Financing for Arts

Hungary will make state financing of the arts conditional on professional achievement and factors such as ticket sales starting this year, Minister of Culture and Innovation János Csák said in an interview published by kultura.hu on February 1. “From now on, we’re going to link state subsidies to stipulations: in addition to professional achievement, recruitment of sponsors and increased ticket revenue will be important factors. We’re going to operate in this framework already from this year,” Csák said. He pointed out that state subsidies made up more than 80% of the revenue of cultural institutions in 2021, though acknowledging the impact of the pandemic on that ratio. “Our task is to see if there’s a standard that can be established as a condition in various branches of the arts. If an institution gets HUF 300 million in sponsorships and HUF 200 mln in ticket revenue, in addition to HUF 2 billion in state support, then we have to find out why that isn’t working for institutions with a similar profile,” he said.

120,000 Guest Nights Expected From 2023 World Athletics

The 2023 World Athletics Championships are expected to generate “at least” 120,000 guest nights in August, Balázs Németh, the CEO of organizer Budapest 2023 Nonprofit, has said. The worlds, which Budapest is hosting on August 19-27, will draw a minimum of 30,000 foreign visitors to commercial accommodation, Németh predicted. He added that official participants would spend another 100,000 guest nights in the capital. More than 100,000 tickets and passes have been sold to residents of 68 countries so far, he said. Construction of the National Athletics Center, the main venue for the 2023 worlds, is “progressing on schedule” and will be finished in April, Németh added. The World Athletics Championships is the third-largest global sporting event. More than 2,000 athletes from over 200 countries will participate in the contest, followed by a worldwide audience of more than one billion people.

European Capital of Culture Program to Boost Economy

Organizers aim to use the Veszprém-Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture (ECoC) program to support economic growth for the entire region, Minister of Regional Development Tibor Navracsics told a tourism industry event in the capital, according to conservative daily Magyar Nemzet [Hungarian Nation]. At the 30th Tourism Gala Year Opener, organized by Turizmus Kft, Navracsics said the cultural and tourism urban development strategy involving Veszprém and the region could be a “catalyst for growth in leaps and bounds.” The program will strengthen the identity of local communities, making a priority of tourism, image management, city rehabilitation, and industry and job creation, he added. Similar programs have boosted tourism by 20-30% while lifting regional GDP by 3-5% and feeding into national GDP in the following years, Navracsics said. Around 3,000 events are being organized under the Veszprém-Balaton 2023 ECoC program. The European Union designates European Capitals of Culture each year to highlight the diversity of cultures on the continent and celebrate the cultural ties Europeans share. The other cities sharing the designation in 2023 are Elefsina in Greece, and Timisoara, in Romania.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of February 10, 2023.

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