Germany's main cultural organization expressed concern on Monday that Egypt's long-serving minister of culture could soon become the new head of UNESCO. "The election of Farouk Hosni as director-general of UNESCO would be a grave mistake," said Olaf Zimmermann, chief executive of the German Council of Culture.
Hosni, who has been culture minister since 1987, has banned Israeli films from international film festivals in Cairo and declared that he "would burn Israeli books in Egyptian libraries" if he could.
He is the main contender to succeed Japan's Koichiro Matsuura, who bows out as head of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization later this year. The deadline for nominating candidates to succeed him expires at the end of May.
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