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MNB deputy governor brushes off criticism of artwork acquisitions

Telco

Photo by Jessica Fejos

National Bank of Hungary (MNB) deputy governor Ferenc Gerhardt dismissed criticism of the National Bank of Hungaryʼs  recent purchases of works of art deemed national treasures, on state-owned all news channel M1 late yesterday.

(Photo: Jessica Fejos)

Addressing concerns that the purchases are "monetary financing", Gerhardt said "this isnʼt so".

He said that the MNB had purchased works of art earlier, as well, noting that paintings by the well known Hungarian artists Mednyánszky, László Paál and Aba-Novák already hang on the walls of the central bank.

The MNB recently launched a "Depositary Program" under which it seeks to recover major artworks exported from Hungary and buy treasures locally to keep them in the country. The program has a budget of HUF 30 bln until the end of 2018.

So far, the central bank has acquired HUF 8.7 bln of artwork under the program, most recently the István Kövesi collection of paintings for HUF 795 mln and the Artpool Art Research Centre collection from 1965-1991 for HUF 90 mln.

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