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The minister of culture of the Russian federation visit to Paris, in a tense context

Vladimir Medinski should meet Saturday, his French counterpart.

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The minister of culture of the Russian federation visit to Paris, in a tense context

Vladimir Medinski should meet Saturday, his French counterpart.

Aside from his early morning schedule – 8: 30 a.m., meeting between minister of French culture, Françoise Nyssen, and one of its european counterparts, russia's Vladimir Medinski, Saturday 16 September, has all trappings of banal. These bilateral meetings, at all levels departmental, are in fact frequent. But with coming to Paris of Mr. Medinski comes at a time when world of Russian culture is in turmoil, frightened by what he feels as a sudden tightening of screws on power.

The Russian minister will be arriving day before in Paris to inaugurate, in framework of heritage Days, an exhibition in residence of Russian ambassador, devoted to diplomatic gifts of Peter The Great. The event is of magnitude less modest, but Russia vogue on success of exhibition of collection Shchukin at Fondation Louis Vuitton, which has attracted 1.25 million visitors.

Persecution of a political nature,

This strong wind is probably not enough to make you forget wear weighing which reigns in Moscow, particularly around case of a stage director Kirill Serebrennikov, a leading figure of scene of contemporary Russian, who is suspected by authorities of misappropriation of public funds estimated at 68 million rubles (approximately 1 million euros) between 2011 and 2014 for project " Platform ".

Mr. Serebrennikov, artistic director of Centre, Gogol, contemporary atre, well-known in Russian capital, could face up to ten years in prison and is under house arrest until 19 October (a date which may be extended) in pending trial. His supporters in Russia and France – fifty of French artists gared on September 10 to demand an end to prosecutions – point to persecution of a political nature, aimed a hellion of Russian scene, more in throes of ultraconservateurs orthodox.

Read report :   Mobilization of French artists to stage director Kirill Serebrennikov

The French ministry of culture, it is assured that Ms. Nyssen is "particularly anxious and attentive to outcome of this case" and " will share this topic to minister of culture, Medinski wishing for an resolved in a timely manner in compliance with rules of rule of law ". On a trip to Moscow, Friday, 8 September, minister of foreign affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, was already said to be "conscious" of situation to director, but margin for manoeuvre appears limited. In an interview with Figaro, on Thursday, Mr. Medinski reaffirms that case " has nothing to do with politics."

harassment Campaign

The case of Kirill Serebrennikov is not only one to throw out disorder in Russia. For several months, even before its national release scheduled for 26 October, film Matilda, which tells of love between last Russian tsar Nicholas II and Mathilde Kschessinska, a dancer, died in Paris in 1971, is subject of a violent campaign of harassment on part of activists and orthodox, which has given rise to several acts of violence. In his interview, Vladimir Medinski says it is "outraged" by this " campaign of hysteria-planned ", but it received support of mps and close to Kremlin.

Read more :   " Matilda ", or birth of a movement orthodox extremist

in recent months, departure in exile of filmmaker Vitali Manski or artist, actionist artist Piotr Pavlenski had already been in turmoil over Russian scene, just as, to a lesser extent, sentence of twenty years in prison to film director Ukrainian Oleg Sentsov was arrested in Crimea and accused of plotting terrorist actions.

Accusations of plagiarism

Vladimir Medinski will he attentive to concerns expressed by Françoise Nyssen ? At age of 47 years, in office since 2012, minister seems to be in perfect harmony with doctrine nationalist and conservative force in Moscow, and accommodate, without difficulty, tendency to closure that this implies. Prior to his arrival at ministry of culture, Mr. Medinski was known for his works inspired by a nationalism that picky, seeking to flush out "stereotypes" disparaging forged by foreigners on Russia.

His sis, defended in 2011, entitled Defects of objectivity of foreign scientists in study of Russian history of XV-Xvii centuries, never ceases to shake scientific community, not only for accusations of plagiarism that have been raised. In 2016, three historians and university professors demanded withdrawal of doctor title in history of minister, denouncing " a text that could not be seen as a matter of historical research, packed with factual errors that are difficult to imagine, even in work of a student of history ".

In opening of this work, Mr. Medinski progressed quite clearly his methodology and his conception of historical science : "The first question that should answer honestly on science of history is to know if this particular event or this particular action serves interest of country and people. This thought of national interests of Russia is absolute norm of truth and reliability of historical work. "


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