The director of the Hanover Ballet attacks a journalist with

The director of the Hanover Ballet attacks a journalist… with dog feces

The director of the Hanover Opera Ballet attacked a critic of a major German daily newspaper with dog feces and smeared her face with feces, the newspaper, the police and the opera announced on Monday.

“On Saturday evening, on the sidelines of the premiere of the ballet “Faith – Love – Hope” (“Faith – Love – Hope”, editor’s note) at the Hanover Opera (North), a disgusting incident happened,” says the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), in a forum on their website.

“During the break, the director of the Hanover Ballet, Marco Goecke, first verbally and then physically attacked our dance critic Wiebke Hüster,” he wrote.

“In the opera hall, the fifty-year-old Goecke stood in front of our critic (who didn’t know him personally until then) to ask him what she was doing at the premiere,” the newspaper continued.

Apparently dissatisfied with one of his former critics, “he first threatened him with a house ban, then accused him of being responsible for the subscription cancellations in Hanover,” the FAZ continued.

No longer in control of the situation, “he took out a paper bag full of piles of animals and smeared the contents on our critic’s face,” adds the newspaper, which is known for its seriousness.

A spokeswoman for the Hanover police confirmed to AFP that a 57-year-old woman had filed a complaint “because her face had been smeared with dog poo”.

The excrement was not confiscated, so police have to rely on eyewitness testimony, she said. An investigation has been opened.

This “humiliating act” was an “attempt to intimidate free and critical art appreciation,” judged the FAZ.

For its part, the Hanover Opera said on its website “deeply regrets the escalation” between Mr. Goecke and the criticism of the FAZ.

The opera, which “apologized to the journalist”, announced that it would “examine, discuss and act accordingly the labor law steps against Goecke”.

“We deeply regret that our public has been disturbed by this incident,” the institution wrote again.

The president of the section of the Association of German Journalists for Lower Saxony (state capital Hanover), Frank Rieger, called for stronger action by the opera against the ballet director.

“The communication of the Hanover Opera is completely inadequate, because the aggression against the journalists of the FAZ is also an attack on the freedom of the press,” affirmed Rieger, quoted by the newspaper.