Members of the syndicate for fine artists are collecting signatures that they will present at the Cairo Opera House on Thursday at 6 pm, calling for the ouster of the current heads and allowing artists to lead the syndicate.
Veteran visual artist Mohamed Abla, who is among those collecting the signatures, criticised the existing heads of the syndicate saying that "They don’t support artists and only look out for their personal gain."
“Some people have been in the syndicate for 20 years and were only taking benefits and money,” he said. “Two per cent of the governmental fund goes to the syndicate of fine arts. Many things can be achieved with this money such as holding competitions, publishing art books and offering art workshops," he explained.
Abla also said that the syndicate is disconnected from the artists and the art scene and only pays a small pension.
Another criticism is related to Ahmed Bassiouny, a visual artist who was killed by the police during the protests on 28 January.
"The union didn’t offer support to his family because he’s not a member of the syndicate, even though he is widely-known as a visual artist,” Abla said. “They didn’t even offer their condolences.”