[chapel project] [context 1973]
January-May 1973 – Galántai makes arrangements for the summer programs: he has discussions with László Beke, exchanges letters with Dóra Maurer, Attila Csernik, Sándor Pinczehelyi, and many others. By the beginning of May, the foldout invitation card, displaying the summer programs in five languages, is ready.
5-10 June 1973 – Transporting new tools from Budapest, reconstruction work, concreting the floor, whitewashing, cleaning and preparing of the chapel for the exhibitions with the help of temporary guests (they carry the water uphill in two ten-liter cans by turns, from a 300-metre distance).
10 June 1973 – The police take five of the guests away at dawn; four of them are carried off to the police station.
11 June 1973 – The director of the Advisory Office for Fine Arts informs the head of the department of fine arts of the Ministry of Culture that “the scandalous Chapel Exhibitions at Balatonboglár are being held again.” Since “these programs defy the statutory decrees and the cultural and political objectives in every respect,” he asks the ministry to take measures against the exhibitions.
12-13 June 1973 – Galántai tries to register the chapel as his temporary home address again (see 7 July 1972), but the secretary to the local council refuses his request. He then turns to the president of the local council in a letter. His appeal is turned down on 20 June.
15 June 1973 – The leaders of the county, district, and local council, together with the representatives of the party organizations, hold a meeting about the Chapel Exhibitions and Galántai’s Chapel Studio, at Balatonboglár. At the meeting they draw up a plan for the closing of the exhibitions; of the plan a five-page memorandum is made which is completed with a supplement of 20 pages. After lunch they pay a visit to the chapel to interrogate Galántai.
15 June 1973 – In the afternoon, two (drunken) plain-clothes policemen, and later a soldier and a patrol, ask to see the papers of the persons who accompany Galántai.
16 June 1973 – The police do another check of the chapel at 10 p.m.
18 June 1973 – The head of the criminal subdivision of the district police station makes a strictly confidential report to the police superintendent of the county on what they have found during the checks. He suggests that, within the range of possibility, they take steps to get the Roman Catholic parish church to cancel Galántai’s right to lease, and consequently terminate the lease contract.
19 June 1973 - In his report on the raids of the nights of 10 and 16 June 1973, the head of the criminal subdivision of the district police station informs the police superintendent of the county that they decided to terminate the investigations against the unknown culprit (in the case of the burglaries). They are convinced that the crimes were all committed by friends of Galántai.
21 June 1973 – At the order of the district council, representatives of the Office for Public Health and the technical department of the local council make a local inquiry in the chapel to check if it is fit for “habitation or a stay.” The Office for Public Health draw up a record in which they state that “they will see to an end of the chapel's current use.”
21 June 1973 – The county party secretary mails the memorandum made at the meeting of the representatives of the council and party organizations (15 June) to the head of the Department of Science, Education and Culture of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, and reports on the inquiry concluded about the Chapel Exhibitions. For their information, he forwards a copy of the document to nine additional institutions.
25 June 1973 – On grounds of the report on the Chapel Exhibitions mailed on 21 June, the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party receive the party secretary of Somogy county in Budapest. He makes a memorandum of the discussion.
At the discussion, head of the Department of Science, Education and Culture of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, Miklós Nagy, suggests that they take legal measures to close the exhibitions. He agrees with the proposal that the State Office for Church Affairs ask for the cancellation of Galántai’s lease contract on behalf of the bishop of Veszprém, László Lékai. Fine arts referent to the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, Loránd Bereczky, stresses that the problem should first of all be approached with respect to law and public health.
25 June 1973 – The technical official for the local council and the supervisor of the district Office for Public Health again check up on the chapel and state that Galántai has set up an outhouse without a building permit.
25 June 1973 – The head of the fine arts department to the Ministry of Culture demands that the head of the department of culture to the county council should revise the exhibitions and programs planned for that year by Galántai. He urges them to take vigorous action against unauthorized activity. “…these programs defy the cultural and political objects in every respect.”
A copy of this letter is forwarded to the director of the Advisory Office for Fine Arts in reply to his letter dated from 11 June.
26 June 1973 – At dawn the police come to the chapel. They are not let in.
26 June 1973 – At 6 p.m., a policeman and a soldier ask to see Gyula Pauer and Rudolf Ungváry’s papers near the chapel.
26 June 1973 – The local council compel Galántai by means of a construction resolution to pull down the unauthorized outhouse and settle the leased area failing which the “construction” will be pulled down by the authorities at the expense of the obligee.
27 June 1973 – The deputy president of the county council comments on Pauer’s work “Statue of Liberty” (Plan) which he has seen in the chapel.
27 June 1973 – The county party secretary mails his memorandum of the meeting of 25 June to the president of the county council and asks him to issue orders to carry out the planned measures (15 June).
27 June 1973 – The county Office for Public Health compel the local pastor to immediately end the disgraceful health conditions and disinfect the area. The pastor appeals against the decision.
28 June 1973 – The State Insurance Company at Fonyód cancel the contract concluded in 1967 on grounds that home insurance applies to flats only. They ask Galántai to pay a visit to their office in order to take out a new insurance (3 July).
29 June 1973 – Plain-clothes policemen provoke Gyula Pauer at Balatonboglár. Subsequently they take him off to the police station and question him about the chapel and the exhibitions.
2 July 1973 – The secular president of the parish church Gyula Bankovits claims that the church is handing the usufructuary right of the chapel over to the local or county council (13 July). They are trying to find the legal means to cancel the lease contract concluded between Galántai and the parish church (6 August).
2 July 1973 – Having been caught scuffling (29 June), Gyula Pauer is sentenced to a four-month imprisonment with the charge of assault against an officer of the law by the district court of Lengyeltóti. On 25 October, the county court of Kaposvár put him on probation for two years, by imposing a fine of HUF 2000 on him.
3 July 1973 – Galántai pays a visit to the office of the State Insurance Company at Fonyód to take out new insurance. The office refuses his request with reference to “a county decision.”
8 July 1973 – At half past three in the morning, five policemen (armed with two dogs) check twenty-nine persons at the chapel.
13 July 1973 – The head of the district police station reports, to his county superior, on the police raid of the dawn of 8 July during which they checked twenty-nine persons. In the course of a public security action, they plan to keep further checks on 15 and 22 July. The officer forwards copies of his report to the deputy president of the county council, and the district party secretary for further orders.
13 July 1973 – A draft-contract is prepared between the Roman Catholic parish church and the local council which declares that the church must hand the administration right of the chapel over to the council for 25 years and without compensation.
14 July 1973 – Police check at half past four in the morning; two girls are taken off.
14 July 1973 – At 10 a.m., the deputy president of the county council, the president of the district office, and the head of its department of culture, keep a check on the chapel accompanied by the secretary to the local council. They “take issue” with László Paizs and András Orvos. A memorandum is made of the visit.
16 July 1973 – The administrative department of the local council compel György Galántai by means of a construction resolution to terminate the use of the chapel until the 5th of August since “he has been using the construction without a license, and […] counter to its genuine purpose.” Galántai appeals against the resolution (20 July).
19 July 1973 – The deputy to the head of the Department of Science, Education and Culture of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party pays a visit to the chapel accompanied by the first secretaries to the county and the district.
20 July 1973 – Galántai appeals against the construction resolution of 26 June with the technical department of the district office to Fonyód and applies for permission to preserve the outhouse until obtaining authorization.
22, 23, 24 July 1973 – Police raid at dawn.
24 July 1973 – The deputy president of the county council informs the bishop of Veszprém László Lékai about the “unfortunate and unqualifiable events” related to the chapel.
25 July 1973 – The technical official of the local council asks the department of administration of the district office to complete his report of 25 June by adding that no permission can be granted to preserve the outhouse since the Office for Public Health have compelled Galántai to pull down the construction. He also appeals for the starting of the legal proceedings against offence.
25 July 1973 – At 5 p.m. a soldier and a policeman check the chapel.
26 July 1973 – Galántai is summoned by the local council in the cause of offence (the outhouse built without permission)
27 July 1973 – The representatives of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Workers’ Party, Loránd Bereczky, and Ferenc Molnár, and the representative of the county party committee, József Németh, visit the exhibition of Pécsi Muhely. They suggest that the problem should be solved with the help of the Association of the Hungarian Fine and Applied Arts.
27 July 1973 – Encouraged by the canon of Veszprém, the pastor of Püspökladány writes a letter to the bishop of Veszprém, László Lékai, in which he informs the bishop about his visit to the chapel. He disapproves of the fact that the chapel, “submitted to artists’ caprice,” is used as a studio. He asks the bishop to take action in order to “put an end to the profanation of the chapel.”
30 July 1973 – The bishop of Veszprém, László Lékai, orders the local pastor to cancel the lease contract.
30 July 1973 - Galántai appeals against the construction resolution of 16 July. He argues that although having been aware of the contractual relationship since 1968, the local council have not asked for a license so far. He adds that he has taken steps to obtain the authorization.
30 July 1973 – As the insurance company at Fonyód cancelled their contract (28 June), Galántai takes out insurance in Budapest against “burglary and robbery,” “damage caused by fire” and “individual accident.” He transports the scenery of a children’s performance from Péter Halász’s studio to Balatonboglár.
31 July 1973 - The department of administration of the district office hold the proceedings about the outhouse built without permission with the local council in Galántai’s absence.
31 July 1973 – The technical official of the local council submits Galántai’s appeal to the technical department of the district office. He claims that he disagrees with the appeal and asks the department to approve his previous resolutions (of 26 June and 16 July).
1 August 1973 – Galántai writes a letter to apologize for his absence from the proceedings but the resolution has already been passed. For the outhouse built without permission, he is either fined HUF one thousand or sentenced to a ten day’s imprisonment.
3 August 1973 - A representative of the district fire-department checks upon the chapel accompanied by a policeman and a soldier. The fireman tells Galántai that he will report the butane gas they have found in the crypt used as storeroom.
3 August 1973 – The Ministry of Public Health turn down the local pastor’s appeal against the resolution of the Office for Public Health of 27 June.
6 August 1973 – Two policemen check the chapel at 4 a.m.
6 August 1973 – At 11 a.m., state officials arrive by car, wanting to see the exhibition.
6 August 1973 – With reference to the findings of the Office for Public Health and the police, the Roman Catholic parish church of Balatonboglár cancel through legal means the lease contract concluded with György Galántai in 1968.
7 August 1973 – The III/III department of the political police of Budapest make a report on the events that are taking place at the chapel. They suggest that a series of identity checks should be carried out with the help of the county police station. They send an agent with the code-name “Kárpáti” to Balatonboglár to spy on the persons staying at the chapel.
7-8 August 1973 - The agent gathering information “on the Chapel Exhibitions of Balatonboglár” on behalf of the III/III department of the political police of Budapest reports that “although there are pictures in the chapel, there is no exhibition to visit.” He was not even allowed to sleep there since, as Galántai had said “identity checks were carried out at nights.”
11-12 August 1973 - The agent coming to Balatonboglár on behalf of the III/III department of the political police of Budapest sees the exhibition and the performance of Péter Halász’s company, and gathers information on Galántai.
12 August 1973 – Accompanied by his twenty year-old son, agent “Italian” visits the chapel and sees the preparations for the performance King Kong. He makes a report.
14 August 1973 – Galántai answers the letter of the legal counsel to the Roman Catholic church which gave him notice of the cancellation of the lease contract (6 August). He informs the lawyer that the duration of the contract (concluded in 1968) is 15 years, and it can be terminated by the lecee only. Should he, as lecee, have offended against the orders of public health and order, as referred to in the cancellation, he is to account for it before the competent authorities.
15 August 1973 – On grounds of the reporting of the district fire department (3 August), the administrative department of the district council pass a resolution without a hearing. Galántai is either fined HUF 500 or sentenced to an imprisonment of 10 days for not complying with the fire-protection safety regulations.
17 August 1973 – At dawn, the central police station to the county take action in the chapel under the code-name “Vacation.” They take 17 persons off to the police station.
19 August 1973 – On behalf of the III/III department of the political police of Budapest, an agent visits the concrete poetry exhibition and makes a report on it.
21 August 1973 – The technical department of the district council turn down Galántai’s appeal against the resolution of 16 July and compel him to terminate the use of the chapel. They put aside his appeal against the resolution of 26 June since the latest local inquiry established that Galántai had pulled down the outhouse built without permission.
21 August 1973 – Since Galántai ignored the notice for the cancellation of the contractual relationship (14 August), the Roman Catholic parish church of Balatonboglár enter an action against him with the district court of Lengyeltóti, with reference to the information provided by the Office for Public Health and the police. They ask the court to establish that “the defendant defied the proper use of the leased property,” as well as “behaved in a scandalous and atrocious way,” thus he is compelled to give the leased property back and pay the costs of the proceedings.
22 August 1973 – The district police station make a confidential report on the action named “Vacation” (17 August) and the 17 persons arrested at the chapel, for the head of the county police station. On 24 August, the first secretary to the Somogy county party committee forwards the report to the Department of Science, Education and Culture of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Workers’ Party.
22 August 1973 – A confidential report by the Department III/III of the county police station gives an all-encompassing survey on Galántai’s activity from 1968 on, when the lease contract was concluded. It includes the regular visitors and the artists exhibiting at the chapel. It gives a detailed account of the theatre performance of Kovács István Studio and Tibor Hajas’s performance (21 July). It suggests that police raids and arrests should be made frequent and news spread in Budapest that Galántai “plays the hooligans into the police’s hands’. It presses for the writing of an article which presents the morals of these gatherings (see 16 December 1973), and the starting of legal proceedings with the charge of distributing unauthorized propaganda material. The report is forwarded to the head of the department III/III-4 of the Ministry of the Interior.
22 August 1973 – In his appeal to the administrative department of the Somogy county council, Galántai notes that he has pulled down the provisory outhouse as he was demanded. He asks the department for a reduction of the fine (1 August) on account of his financial situation.
23 August 1973 – The district court of Lengyeltóti summon defendant György Galántai to appear before the court in the proceedings started by the parish “concerning the force of the cancellation of the contractual relationship,” for 24 September 1973.
24 August 1973 – In his letter to the head of the Department of Science, Education and Culture of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, the county party secretary notes that he asked the deputy director of the county Office for Public Health to enforce the resolution, which has already been entered into effect by the Ministry for Public Health, which declares that the chapel should be closed for reasons of health. Enclosed he forwards the report of the district police station (22 August) on the action named “Vacation.”
24 August 1973 - The administrative department of the local council of Balatonboglár pass a resolution that the construction resolution of 16 July, which had terminated the use of the chapel, became effective on 21 August. They decree the forced vacation of the chapel. The time of execution is Monday, 27 August 1973.
25 August 1973 – The representative of the local council asks the district police station to protect the eviction by armed force since “the measures are likely to meet with difficulties.”
25 August 1973 – Galántai receives the dismissal of his appeal (see 21 August) and the resolution of eviction (24 August) on the same day. In order to observe legality, he asks the president of the local council by telegraph to immediately re-examine the executive decision.
26 August 1973 – Dr Balázs Orosz explains Galántai, as a friend, what legal steps can be taken against the eviction at the last moment.
26 August 1973 – Galántai objects to the resolution about fire-protection with the district council. He asks either for a reduction of the severe fine or his being allowed to pay by installments.
27 August 1973 – The local pastor is sent off from town for the time of the eviction of the chapel.
27 August 1973 – The forced eviction of the chapel commences at half past one in the afternoon with police supervision. Beside an armed force of about twenty policemen and soldiers sent by the district police intendant another ten persons, that represent the authorities, are present. Besides the authorities another ten persons are there, including the correspondent of the Hungarian Radio Szilárd Nyakas, who interviews with the masons sent out to the chapel and with György Galántai. The police seize the tape.
28 August 1973 – The head of the criminal subdivision of the district police station gives an account of the forced eviction of 27 August to his superior.
29 August 1973 – In his letter, Galántai informs the counsel of the Roman Catholic parish church that he cannot agree with the reasons for the cancellation of the lease contract but since he wishes to escape the legal proceedings he will not use the chapel as a studio or hold exhibitions there, until obtaining the necessary authorization and reaching an agreement with the parish church.
29 August 1973 – The subdivision III/III-4-a of the Ministry of the Interior suggest that the group named “Anglers” should be broken up by their putting the measures listed in the general report of 22 August into effect in co-operation with the central police station of the county.
30 August 1973 – As promised in the minutes of the eviction of 27 August, Galántai moves from the chapel officially. Next to the removal it is entered into the minutes that the chapel has been taken over in its original state.
3 September 1973 – In reply to Galántai’s letter of 29 August, the counsel of the parish church informs him that the proceedings have already been instituted against him.
5 September 1973 – The editor of the youth program of the Hungarian Radio informs the central police station of the county in person that he has summarily dismissed Szilárd Nyakas. He adds that they managed to find out other persons in the radio who were involved with the circle of Galántai.
6 September 1973 - The administrative department of the county council turn down Galántai’s appeal for a reduction of the fine imposed on him on grounds of the outhouse built without permission in the second instance (see 22 August).
6 September 1973 – The central police station of the county make a report on the action named “Vacation” of 17 August and the forced eviction of 27 August, as well as the identity check of the persons present. The report and the interviews made by Szilárd Nyakas are forwarded to the main group III/III of the Ministry of the Interior.
8 September 1973 – The head of the department of propaganda and culture of the county council mails the extract of the report made by the criminal subdivision of the district police station on 28 August, to the department of Science, Education and Culture of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party. The extract covers the closing of the chapel at Balatonboglár on 27 August and the persons checked on the spot. He adds that plans are being made for the future use of the chapel.
14 September 1973 – Galántai announces with the district court of Lengyeltóti that he assents to the cancellation of the lease contract by termination since the punitive sanctions have entirely ruined his art activity. However he stresses that the facts of the case do not square with the truth.
19-20 September 1973 – Galántai applies to the administrative department of the district council for permition to pay the fine imposed on him for offending the construction regulation (HUF 1000) and the fire-protection (HUF 500) by installments.
24 September 1973 - The day of the case trying to force the cancellation of the contractual relationship in Lengyeltóti. Neither the defendant, nor the complainant are present. The court pass a judgement that declares the stopping of the proceedings since, as “the judge ascertains,… the complainant did not ask for the trying of the case in his absence while the defendant did ask for the stopping of the case” (see 14 September).
25 September 1973 - The administrative department of the district council turn down both Galántai’s requests for paying the fine by installments (19-20 September). They give reasons for their decision that “it is unlikely that the monthly income of an artist in Hungary who works hard and on a regular basis does not reach HUF 1000”.
25 October 1973 – The Ministry for the Interior make an all-encompassing report on György Galántai’s activity at the chapel and the events that took place there.
15 November 1973 – The Ministry for the Interior make another all-encompassing report supplemented by an action plan. It still includes Galántai’s permanent observation.
22 November 1973 – Agent “Zoltán Pécsi” gives a detailed account of Péter Halász’ group, the members of the theatre, the performances, and the underground periodical called Szétfolyóirat.
28 November 1973 – The detailed account of agent “Zoltán Pécsi” of Péter Halász’s group, the events of Balatonboglár, György Galántai’s role, and the performance King Kong.
13 December 1973 – The III/III-4-a subdivision of the Ministry for the Interior open a file for the group named “Anglers.” Confidential inquiries are made about Péter Halász, Anna Koós, István Bálint, Péter Breznyik and György Galántai. On the same day, they pass a resolution to arrest Galántai in case of mobilization.
16 December 1973 – The Sunday cultural supplement of Népszabadság carries an article attacking Galántai for his activity at Balatonboglár under the title “Happening in the Crypt.” The article is written by the renowned editor in chief of the crimes column László Szabó. Encouraged by the Ministry for the Interior, Szabó found his writing on the documents made by the Somogy county council.
18 December 1973 – Galántai asks the legal department of the Artists’ Foundation to start a correction procedure against the article.
17-18 December 1973 – Many readers protest in letter against the article “Happening in the Crypt” to the editor in chief of Népszabadság. Among them there are Tamás Szende and Júlia Vajda. These letters are, of course, not published.
18 December 1973 – In a memorandum mailed to György Aczél (head of cultural policy within the top Party leadership), László Szabó gives an account of the telephone calls that, on the appearance of the article, informed against Galántai and Péter Halász’s group and the role of Iván Vitányi.
19 December 1973 – In answer to László Szabó’s article, István Eörsi writes a counter-article under the title “What has come forward from the Crypt?” Similar to the reader’s letters, Népszabadság refuse to publish it.
19 December 1973 – The head of the department in charge of the Ministry for Culture asks the head of the department of Culture to Somogy county council to inform him about the “measures they have taken or are intending to take” to prevent the events like the “by now renowned” Chapel Exhibitions.
22 December 1973 – Galántai asks fine arts referent of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, Loránd Bereczky, for an audience. He also asks the editor in chief to Népszabadság to put the relating reader’s letters at his disposal for the audience (his request remains unanswered).
22 December 1973 – The Ministry for the Interior make a report on the meeting held at Péter Halász’s apartment about László Szabó’s article on 16 December. The report says that the participants propose that a correction be published and they plan to enter a libel case. The Ministry for the Interior carry on the confidential inquiry.
22 December 1973 – The president of the local council of Tata cancels his commission for the creation of an artwork by Galántai at MÁVAUT central bus station.
22 December 1973 - Galántai concurrently asks the legal department of the Artists’ Foundation to certify his membership so that he can have a telephone.
27 December 1973 – György Pór applies to the editor in chief to Népszabadság for a correction, finding parts of the article “Happening in the Crypt” deleterious. The counsel of the paper turns down his request in a letter dated from 9 January 1974. He then enters a libel case.
(English translation by Ágnes Ivacs)