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15th April, 2019

Court upholds right to paint on sidewalks

The Constitutional Court on Friday annulled a Szombathely county court ruling that the Two-Tailed Dog Party had violated sanitation regulations by painting bright colours on cracked sidewalks.

The party said the aim of their action was to call public attention – as well as the attention of the authorities – to the bad state of the pavement surfaces and to help prevent accidents.

The Szombathely court had deemed the action “dangerous to society” and said it was right to prioritise the rights of the owner of public spaces ahead of the right to freedom of expression.

The Constitutional Court, however, found the party’s complaint well-founded. They write, in part: “It is also important to state that the colouring of a piece of cracked sidewalk brings delight to passers-by, rather than endangering them, therefore there is a need for a sober sense of humour when judging this action. It is important to state that the painting has not caused any temporary harm to the condition of the surface and was appropriate for conveying the desired message.”

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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