Bern culture centre saved again

Bern’s controversial alternative arts centre, the Reitschule, will not be closed.

Voters on Sunday rejected an initiative by the local section of the rightwing Swiss People’s Party calling for the Reitschule to be sold to the highest bidder.

The initiative was rejected by 68.4 per cent of those who voted. Bern mayor Alexander Tschäppät, a member of the centre-left Social Democratic Party, said he was "more than proud" of the Bernese for the way they had voted.

The city-owned centre has split opinion for decades, with opponents arguing it is a hotbed of leftwing extremism and drug dealing.

Sunday’s local ballot was the fifth in 23 years on the fate of the Reitschule, or Reithalle. Every time voters have chosen to save it. and agencies