The Minister of culture Vladimir Medinsky said that the Russian theatres currently operate in conditions of absolute freedom. “Our theatres are generally unthinkable in the world of rights and freedoms”, – said yesterday to journalists the head of the Ministry of culture during a visit to Astrakhan. The statement Medina came amid heated discussions with members of the public censorship in the sphere of culture in Russia.
“I honestly don’t know of a precedent, no country in the world and any era over the last couple of thousand years, starting with Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, when the theatres so enjoyed absolute freedom in the presence of state budget financing,” Medinsky said, quoted by “Interfax”.
The head of the Ministry of culture emphasized that the state funded cultural sector as much as “can afford it”. “This preferential treatment, combined with absolute freedom is nowhere”, – he concluded. Vladimir Medinsky arrived in Astrakhan to participate in the meeting of the Council under the RF President on interethnic relations, devoted to discussing the topical issues of implementation of the strategy of state national policy.
We will remind, earlier wide public resonance has caused the performance of the art Director of theatre “Satyricon” Konstantin Raikin at the Congress of the Union of theatrical figures. He complained of censorship and state intervention in the creative process. Raikin also stated that “Satyricon” is on the verge of closing due to lack of funding.
Press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the speech Raikin explained that this is not about censorship, but only the “order theme” artist of the state. This approach was criticized by the famous Director Andrey Zvyagintsev, who in an article in the newspaper “Kommersant” wrote that the authorities have forgotten that “it is not their money but ours.” “These people have decided that they know what people need, and with his money bought his pathetic crafts”, – said he.
Vladimir Medinsky, known for his controversial statements on various topics and has been repeatedly caught in embarrassing situations. Recently, in anticipation of the opening in Orel Russia’s first monument to Ivan the terrible, he tried to justify the Russian Tsar, a temper which went down in history. The head of the Ministry of culture proposed to evaluate the performance of Ivan the terrible in comparison with his contemporaries, who ruled in the sixteenth century in Europe. In this approach, the Russian Tsar looks much less brutal, because it orders life lost only three to seven thousand people, while only one massacre of St. Bartholomew on 24 August 1572, in France during the reign of Charles IX killed about 30 thousand people, says the Minister.
Last year, Medina has caused a barrage of ridicule on the Internet, recklessly naming Sergei Dovlatov, who died in 1990, “the writer of the second half of the nineteenth century.” In June 2014, the bloggers also ridiculed Medina after he, reading a congratulatory message from Russian President Vladimir Putin at the opening of the 36th Moscow international film festival (MIFF), failed the first time to read the number written in Roman numerals.