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More Reactions from the Culture World to the War in Ukraine

The Amsterdam Hermitage, which recently cut ties with its Russian counterpart. Photo by Marcus Loke on Unsplash.

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, more states and independent cultural institutions are taking action against both state-owned and independent Russian entities:

  • Several European countries and their state-owned art institutions have withdrawn artworks from a planned exhibition at the Kremlin Museums in Moscow, resulting in a postponement of the show.
  • Since 2004 (in its current location since 2009), there has been an Amsterdam outpost of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Dutch museum has cut ties with the Russian institution. The move has resulted in the closing of an exhibit of Russian avant-garde art. The long-term future of the relationship is unclear, although the museum retains the “Hermitage” name. The Amsterdam Hermitage does not receive state funding.
  • The Tate, which operates four UK art institutions, including the popular Tate Modern and Tate Britain, has cut ties with two Russian oligarchs who are members of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.
  • After coming under criticism for banning films by independent Russian filmmakers, the Glasgow Film Festival clarified the action by releasing a statement that the affected films received state funding from bodies associated with those in Putin’s inner circle.
  • Auction houses in London have cancelled upcoming sales of Russian art — events which have been popular among oligarchs, who have amassed art collections both in the UK and abroad. One auction house, Phillips, is Russian-owned, although they have release a statement calling for the end of hostilities in Ukraine.

On a slightly different note, the impositions of sanctions and flight bans have resulted in the inability to move art from one place to another, including dozens of Russian works loaned to the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris from several Russian state-owned institutions, including the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg and the Pushkin State Museum. The exhibition remains open and was extended several weeks to April 3, but the Russian works may be in Paris beyond that if logistics problems continue.



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Danielle Wolff

Danielle Wolff

Writer for screen, stage, and new media. Diplomacy scholar. Passionate polyglot.