The Royal Academy returned to Petr Aven his "blood-drenched Russian money"

News
The Royal Academy returned to Petr Aven his "blood-drenched Russian money"
The Royal Academy returned to Petr Aven his "blood-drenched Russian money"
2 March, 15:58CulturePhoto: Financial Times
Petr Aven left the post of trustee of the Royal Academy. He was also returned a donation he made to organize an exhibition of Francis Bacon, which is now on display at the museum. Viktor Vekselberg will probably be next.

Europe's cultural institutions are refusing to cooperate with Russian oligarchs, labeled by the European Union as supporters of Vladimir Putin, The Guardian reports. So, yesterday, a Russian billionaire named in EU sanctions “as one of Vladimir Putin’s closest oligarchs” stepped down as a trustee of the Royal Academy, which has also returned a donation he made towards a Francis Bacon exhibition "Man and Beast", which is now taking place in its halls now. The honorary president of the Royal Academy Trust, on which Aven sat, is the Prince of Wales.

The head of Russia's largest commercial bank, based in the UK, Aven is an avid art collector and donor to several British cultural institutions, including the Tate Gallery and the Royal Academy, of which the Prince of Wales is president. He and his business partner, the London-based businessman Mikhail Fridman, responded to the EU sanctions by describing them as “spurious and unfounded”. Aven took issue with how he was described in the EU sanctions notice, rejecting the claims that he had benefited from government connections and that he and Fridman were “unofficial emissaries for the Russian government”.

The same drastic step is expected in the UK from the Tate Gallery, which is likely to cut ties with another Russian oligarch associated with the Kremlin, Viktor Vekselberg. The President of the Skolkovo Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Renova Group of Companies is an honorary member of the Tate Foundation, a title he received thanks to his generous donations.

Another oligarch with close business ties in the UK is Alisher Usmanov, whose USM company owns the naming rights to Everton Football Club's stadium. According to the MP from the Labor Party, the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Russia, Chris Bryant, Usmanov will soon be on the UK sanctions list, and Everton should cut off all ties with him. “Of course Putin supporters should be removed from our cultural institutions and galleries and museums should run a mile from blood-drenched Russian money”, - Bryant added.

Found a typo in the text? Select it and press ctrl + enter