Romania's Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Friday said he was ready to revisit changes he'd made to the country's cultural body, after the overhaul led to widespread protests from the arts world.
Thousands of artists in Europe joined their Romanian counterparts in protest after Ponta issued an emergency order June 13 shifting control of the state-funded Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) from the presidency, held by rival Traian Basescu, to the senate.
Opponents called the move "brutal" and said it jeopardised the ICR's independence. But after days of protest and an online petition, the centre-left Ponta acknowledged he should have first spoken with artists and said he was ready to reconsider.
"The decision can be changed if there is a better solution", Ponta said, but added he would not let the ICR revert to the control of his centre-right rival, Basescu.
The backtracking came after top Romanian and foreign artists upped their protests Friday.
"An 'emergency' measure to radically change the ICR mission and submit it to obvious politicised control is against the spirit and the letter," of international treaties signed by Romania, several European artistic organisations wrote.