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German ballet director suspended after smearing canine feces in critic’s face

Written by Inke KappelerToyin Owoseje, CNN

The director of a number one German ballet firm is being investigated by police and has been suspended for smearing canine feces on a critic’s face after taking offense to a assessment she wrote.

According to an article printed within the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) on Sunday, Marco Goecke, the pinnacle of Hanover State Opera’s ballet firm, allegedly verbally attacked journalist Wiebke Hüster through the intermission of a ballet premiere efficiency. The confrontation appears to have been spurred by a earlier assessment that Hüster had written, in line with the newspaper.

FAZ studies that Goecke threatened to ban their critic from the Hannover State Opera, after which smeared a paper bag with canine feces in her face.

Goecke apologized to Hüster and all affected for his “absolutely unacceptable action,” in a press release despatched to CNN Tuesday.

“In retrospect, I clearly realize that this was a shameful act in the heat of the moment and an overreaction,” following a “nervous strain of two premieres in quick succession” in The Hague on February 9 and in Hanover on Saturday, he added.

Goecke advised public broadcaster NDR on Tuesday that Hüster had been “throwing sh*t” at him “for years.” He mentioned that his dachshund left feces in his canine bag, which he then used to assault Hüster. “Of course I have to justify myself and of course it’s not right that this happened in this opera house, in this public space, and of course, it’s also a fact that spectators were frightened and I’m incredibly sorry about that,” Goecke advised NDR.

FAZ wrote of their article: “We evaluate the humiliating act beyond the offense of bodily harm also as an attempt to intimidate our free, critical view of art.” FAZ additionally studies that the police are investigating the incident after Hüster filed a prison criticism.

A Hannover police spokeswoman confirmed to CNN that they’re investigating insult and bodily hurt towards Hüster. No prices have been filed.

Hannover State Opera instantly apologized “personally and also publicly” to Hüster, writing in a press launch that the journalist had been “blatantly violated in her personal integrity.”

Hannover State Opera suspended Goecke on Monday “with immediate effect” and in addition barred him from the opera home, a spokesperson confirmed on Monday.

“Ballet director Marco Goecke has violated all principles of conduct of the Hanover State Opera by his impulsive reaction towards journalist Wiebke Hüster last Saturday evening, has deeply offended Ms. Hüster personally and has thus unsettled the audience, the employees of the house, and the general public in the most extreme way,” the Hannover State Opera mentioned in a press release to CNN.

The head of the regional journalist affiliation, Frank Rieger, condemned the “attack as an attack on the freedom of the press.”

“An artist must endure criticism, even if it may seem excessive,” Rieger mentioned in a tweet. “Anyone who reacts to criticism with violence is not acceptable.”

Goecke criticized what he referred to as “destructive, hurtful reporting,” saying it was damaging “the entire cultural enterprise.”


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