Ulrike Lunacek

Austria’s culture minister resigned on Friday amid mounting criticism and disappointment with her performance in the coronavirus crisis.

Ulrike Lunacek, a member of the Green party — the junior member of the governing coalition — is the first senior figure to leave Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s government since the alliance of conservatives and liberal-minded Greens took office in January.

Lunacek pointed to dissatisfaction and disappointment in the cultural sector, the Austria Press Agency reported.

“I am making way for someone else,” said Lunacek, who reported to Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler and was technically one rung below Cabinet level. It wasn’t immediately clear who that will be.

Lunacek irked Austrian cultural figures early in her tenure by saying she didn’t understand last year’s awarding of the Nobel literature prize to Austrian writer Peter Handke and describing a Bob Dylan concert as “boring.”

More recently, she drew criticism for appearing to have little understanding for the needs of artists in the coronavirus crisis.

“Although we have announced concrete things and conducted many talks and video conferences with the representatives of various sectors, I had to acknowledge that I was no longer able to achieve a positive effect with my strengths, that I wasn’t given a chance any more,” Lunacek said.

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