Since the release of our last statement (17 June 2018) – in which we expressed our hope in the success of negotiations with the representatives of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS) and its Library and Information Centre (LIC) – the situation of the Lukács Archives (LAK) has not changed: it remains closed, the Lukács manuscripts and personal library are not there, and the promised renovation of the philosopher’s flat has not even begun and probably will not even start (see below). Moreover, the situation has been worsened by the attack of the Hungarian government on the HAS, possessor of the Lukács heritage, threatening a number of largely autonomous research institutes with closure. Therefore, it has become entirely uncertain whether meaningful negotiations about the future of the LAK will continue or not.
Even though nowadays no one would seriously consider that the closure of the LAK would help to defend the HAS, it is not likely that the HAS will make any further step towards an acceptable resolution of disputes concerning the LAK. In February, the Director General of the LIC (as dispenser of the heritage), invited representatives of the Lukács Archive International Foundation (LAIF) to a meeting – during which he promised the reopening of the LAK; moreover, proposed its renovation and technical modernisation as a scientific workshop. Despite this, a few weeks ago he informed the LAIF that the President of the HAS would not allow this renovation. The President of the LAIF acknowledged this and asked the Director General to inform her about the conditions in which the reopening would be possible on the basis of February’s negotiations. The Director General interpreted the inquiry as an undue intervention into what he considers the internal affairs of the LIC and ended his reply with the following words: “You should calmly wait for developments. If we get stuck with the work – and if we need your help – we will inform you”.
The case does seem disastrous for LAK: though we do not intend to break ties with the possessor of the Lukács heritage, we have to admit that negotiations led to a dead end. Naturally, LAIF does not give up its primary goals, but we cannot wait any longer: in this situation we are considering finding support for the publication of the Lukács texts and writings on his philosophy and organising a community of researchers as our most important tasks (please find our publication and research plans here).
Because of the threatening attacks on the LAK and on academic freedom – and even on the HAS – we have to work on urging and supporting the research of Lukács without the traditional institutional background. Therefore, we would like to kindly ask the friends of LAIF, those organisations and people – who besides expressing their solidarity, are intending to support our work financially – to contribute towards the expenses of LAIF and to the realisation of our plans. Anyone interested in our activities can follow the updates about the donations, their use and the undertakings accomplished by their help, on the LAIF website (www.lana.info.hu), to be launched on the first anniversary of the closure of LAK. Since the website is operated and its content constantly updated by our volunteers, please be patient with updates.
Options for support are by PayPal or bank transfer:
Lukács Archívum Nemzetközi Alapítvány
IBAN: HU90 1070 0691 6987 0820 5110 0005
SWIFT Code: CIBHHUHB
Bank: CIB Bank
Budapest, 23 May 2019
Thank you very much in advance for your reply and support.
In the name of the board of trustees of the LAIF,