MAY 8 2012 19:30h
The city of Zagreb has put the rent up for artistic organizations, civil associations, political parties and other nonprofit organizations that pay rents for their premises. The prices are much higher. For example, the Croatian Society of Artists has been paying 5,700 HRK so far and now they should pay 44,000 HRK. So, the new prices are 200 percent higher. These prices shocked everyone, even those who hired very small premises.
Back to the kitchen
One of them is the artist Davorin Radic whose rent was 280 HRK and from now on he has to pay 880 HRK. Although he is a professional artist, he can’t make a living out of it, as he admits himself. He would rather say that his activity is a kind of artistic obsession. So, he has found himself in a very difficult situation as well as about a hundred of his colleagues.
- I hired this place from the city of Zagreb. It has about 50 square meters and I use it as my studio. When I got in, it looked like the old shed so I had to invest some money to make it a decent place for working. This decision will ruin us and if we can’t afford to pay, they will probably confiscate our paintings –Radic is afraid.
He added that he had started his artistic career in his own kitchen and if this decision of the city is final, he will have to go back there.
The decision about the higher rents for city premises was reached in January. This means that tenants got the new bills for April together with installments for February and March. It is one more thing that makes this situation even more difficult.
The rents are higher not only for artists, but also for political parties, associations of citizens, institutions, foundations, artistic organizations and religious congregations. When explaining the new prices in January, the Mayor Milan Bandic said that the previous prices were simply too low.
-In the time of crisis and recession all people have to bear the burden. No one will have to leave the premises – Bandic promised then.
The artist Davorin Radic agrees with sharing the burden of recession, but he doesn’t approve these new conditions.
Does the City care at all?
-The increase of 200 percent is not the sharing of burden but ruining the artists. One decision endangered the work and existence of about hundred artists from this city, and no one cares – says Radic and warns that there are still a few days in front of us in which we will see if the city cares for its artists or wants to deny them.
The Mayor Milan Bandic says that there is no need to be afraid because of higher rents. – The associations of special importance and those who strengthen the civil society have no reason for fear. If they have higher rents, they will also get higher financial help – Bandic says. But this doesn’t refer to the artistic studio as it seems. – The order should have been introduced. Those who were misusing their rights and rented the premises further will now have to quit.