Petition Against the Closing of the Monumenta Musica Byzantinae

The future of a major enterprise in Byzantine Studies is under threat from the decision of the University of Copenhagen to make the Director of the Monumenta Musicae Byzantinae redundant as part of a cost-cutting exercise.

The Monumenta Musicae Byzantinae (MMB) was established in Copenhagen in 1935 under the direction of Prof. Carsten Høeg, and quickly became a world-renowned scientific enterprise devoted to the study and publication of Byzantine musical and liturgical sources (http://www.igl.ku.dk/MMB/). The University of Copenhagen has been central to the activities of the MMB ever since, housing a comprehensive library and archive which has supported a sustained and highly productive programme of research and publication by a very international body of scholars. Students of the successive directors of the MMB have gone on to secure prestigious positions around the world in the fields of Classics, Byzantine Studies and Musicology. The MMB volumes are published under the auspices of the Union Académique Internationale, with the support of the Carlsberg Foundation and several other funding bodies.

The present director of the MMB, Prof. Christian Troelsgård, has been a lecturer in the Department of Greek and Latin for the last 26 years, and has an outstanding reputation both as a teacher and for his research. He is universally regarded as a leading scholar in all branches of the study of Byzantine chant, known internationally through his many books and articles, and widely respected in his University through his co-ordination of several externally-funded research projects and as a member of the Royal Danish Academy and the Academic Council of the Faculty of Humanities. The University of Copenhagen has rashly determined that his position no longer ‘matches the future development of the Faculty’, and proposes to dismiss him for reasons of ‘necessary cut-backs’. Since Prof. Troelsgård represents the one and only institutional affiliation of the MMB project in Denmark, there is a real risk that this proposal would precipitate the sudden closure of all MMB activities, and the dispersal of an immensely valuable tradition of research that has been a jewel in the crown of Danish (and European) research in the humanities for more than 80 years. The consequences of this dismissal on research in this field would be really dramatic on a world scale, at a time when many new avenues of research are being actively explored.

If you would like to ask for a reconsideration of this decision, and to express your support for the MMB project, we invite you to sign the following petition:

http://chng.it/WnvzKY95L7

The members of the MMB Editorial Board