De Balie director wants to turn debate center into religious institution to stay open
Director of the Debate Center De Balie in Amsterdam, Yoeri Albrecht, wants to turn the debate center into a religious institution. According to Albrecht, this way, the debate center can remain open during a lockdown.
"I will go to the Chamber of Commerce tomorrow to change the status," the director said on the T.V. program WNL op Zondag.
The director of the debate center was a guest in the program to discuss the current coronavirus measures. The catering industry and the cultural sector cannot currently count on relaxation of restrictions. "This way, I want to start the conversation why the cultural sector has been considered part of the "non-essential" sector two years while I think that culture is an important way of life for many people. Just like religion can be," Albrecht said.
By turning De Balie into a religious institution, he could reopen the debate center under the current coronavirus restrictions. "I don't understand why you an come together in Veluwe to discuss a 2,000-year-old, but not get together in the heart of Amsterdam to discuss a book from one month ago," the director said.
Albrecht suggested The Church of Reason or The Left Church as possible names. He emphasized that the conversation was not a joke.
Reporting by ANP.