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Lopérfido appointed to diplomatic post

The controversial artistic head of the Colón Theatre will move to Berlin to take up a position to be created

After two years as head of the Colón Theatre’s artistic department, Darío Lopérfido, will be leaving to take up a diplomatic position in Berlin, Germany, that was offered to him by President Mauricio Macri’s administration. This comes a year after Lopérfido was unceremoniously pressured to resign from his position as City Culture Minister, after he made offensive comments about the victims of the last military dictatorship.

“I don’t want to say what position it is yet, because they are still fixing it up, it is a reform that is being made in the Foreign Ministry,” said Lopérfido in an interview with Radio Con Vos. The former Culture minister said that in 15 days he would know much more about the position, where he will represent the Let’s Change administration not only in Germany but also in the European Union.

Reflecting over his time in the Colón Theatre, he said that it had passed by very fast and that he accomplished a lot quickly. “Now, I will go to Berlin, for those of us who like classical music, it’s like being in Disneyland,” Lopérfido said.

The Buenos Aires City government also confirmed Lopérfido’s versions, after weeks of rumours over his departure. The decision was reported to have been made by Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta. Lopérfido will now be replaced by Mexican Enrique Arturo Diemecke, who is currently the leading director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Buenos Aires. The current general theatre director, María Victoria Alcaraz, will continue in her position.

Lóperfido has led the Artistic department of the Colón Theatre since 2015, and was later appointed as the minister of Culture of Buenos Aires City with the change in administration. In January 2016, just after being appointed minister, Lopérfido publicly denied that there were 30,000 forced disappearances in the last military dictatorship and said it was an excuse for the family members of victims to receive subsidies.

“It’s a lie that was made up behind doors so that the relatives of victims can receive subsidies,” he had said then. His statements questioning the genocide that occurred during that period sparked the outrage of opposition parties and human rights organisations who demanded his resignation. Lopérfido would be heckled on the street, during public events and wherever he went until he finally presented his resignation months afterwards. Although he denied that his resignation was due to his controversial comments, Larreta later insinuated it. “ We agreed with Darío that it was for the best that he concentrate himself on the artistic direction of the Colón Theatre,” Larreta said.

However, he still continued receiving criticisms from different artistic sectors after leaving the Culture Ministry. Lopérfido was criticised for renting out the Colón’s salons for private events, and, for example, allowing shows not related to the classical music and traditional dance programme of the theatre such as a Babasónicos rock concert and a chat with US actor Al Pacino.

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