European artists and intellectuals call on Russian prosecutor to drop criminal charges against Museum directors.
On 13 December the European Cultural Parliament, ECP, adopted a resolution protesting against the court proceedings against two leading personalities in the Russian world of Arts – Yury Samodurov, the former director of the Sakharov Museum in Moscow, and Andrey Erofeev, former curator at the State Tretyakov Gallery, who are both facing serious and unfounded charges of “inciting religious and ethnic hatred” through the organization of a “Forbidden Art” exhibit in 2007. This exhibition was opened in the Sacharov Museum* in Moscow in 2007 and was closed after a few weeks upon order of the authorities. Mr Samodurov and Mr Erofeev may now be facing years of imprisonment.
The ECP Members – some 80 artists and intellectuals from more than 30 European countries – expressed grave concern about these court proceedings, by which Russian authorities are violating their commitments and obligations to respect basic human rights, including freedom of artistic expression.
The ECP Resolution calls on the prosecutor’s office to drop the charges against the two Museum directors.
In another resolution the ECP appealed to the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to fulfil its responsibilities, according to European standards, to support and finance the preservation of cultural historical heritage and cultural institutions, which are of vital importance to the country which is still suffering from cultural and ethnic division.
The European Cultural Parliament, which has more than 150 Members from 43 European countries, including Russia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, held its 8th session in Gothenburg, Sweden on 11-13 December 2009. ECP discussed quality and reflection in culture and media and several members expressed concern that “fast news” in the digital world of today would reduce the level of ambition regarding quality and analysis in the media. Sinking quality constitutes a threat against Democracy. Many ECP Members also pointed at sinking quality awareness in several fields of arts, e.g. in the world of opera.
For any further information please contact the Secretary General of the ECP, Karl-Erik Norrman: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. 0049-170-1644 950.
* The Sacharov Museum is by itself a symbol or the fight for Human Rights in Russia and carries the name of the Russian human rights activist and Nobel Peace Price laureate Andrey Sacharov (1921-89).