by Hari Kunzru
In the art world, an organization called the Hungarian Academy of Arts (M.M.A.), founded as a private association in 1992, has recently been made into a public body and given control of the lion’s share of the national cultural budget. They will now select the directors of museums and administer prizes. Beginning this month, the M.M.A. has taken control of Budapest’s Mucsarnok, the country’s most significant contemporary-art venue. The eighty-year-old head of the M.M.A., György Fekete, has said that, in addition to artistic excellence, “unambiguous national sentiment” is required for membership in his organization.