The strange decision of the government of the Russian Federation has its own background. At the end of last year at that time, the artistic director of the Vakhtangov Theater was awarded a state prize for staging the play Oedipus Rex. The order to this effect was signed on December 17, 2021. The wording read "For the development of Russian culture", and the amount of the award was 3 million rubles.
Tuminas headed the Vakhtangov Theater in 2007, but on February 9 of this year, that is, after the announcement of the laureate, the 70-year-old director wrote a letter of resignation for health reasons and left for treatment in his homeland - in Lithuania.
But Tuminas finally left the theater only at the beginning of May, after a scandal broke out with the famous Russian pranksters Lexus and Vovan. They called the director on behalf of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine and offered to stage the play "My Friend Bandera" in one of the theaters in Kyiv, to which the director allegedly agreed. Moreover, Tuminas also predicted a missile attack on Moscow in retaliation for the special operation in Ukraine.
However, later the director explained his words to MK journalists by the fact that he was warned in advance about the upcoming call of the pranksters, and he played them himself, joking in this way...
Be that as it may, but on the social networks of the Vakhtangov Theater a message was published stating that “from May 6, 2022, Rimas Tuminas ceases to operate at the Vakhtangov Theater”, and the theater itself will continue to operate as usual under the direction of Kirill Krok . All creative and artistic projects planned for the 101st season (2021-2022) will be completed.
However, the “joke” and prank of Tuminas did not go unnoticed, judging by the official order of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Russian Federation, which says:
"Exclude Tuminas Rimas from the number of persons who have been awarded the 2021 Russian Government Prize in the field of culture".
The document, signed by Mikhail Mishustin, was published on May 16 on the official portal of legal information.
This very strange decision can be explained either by revenge or by saving public funds - after all, those same 3 million, apparently, were not paid to Tuminas. It is not clear only what to do now with the wording about the development of Russian culture? Did Tuminas develop it or not? Unfortunately, Mishustin's order does not say anything about this.
The well-known journalist, TV presenter and writer Alexander Arkhangelsky writes about this:
“I did not believe that the 2021 Government Prize for Rimas Tuminas has been cancelled. Not only is the point that even God cannot make the former non-existent, but above all, that Rimas is one of the few European artists who puts his stake on Russian culture (as opposed to Russian politics). How many times I remember the formula - worse than a crime: a mistake ... "
And theater critic Ksenia Larina predicts: “I won’t be surprised that when the next order of the authorities is the demand to exclude Tuminas’ performances from the repertoire…”
And bloggers also remind in this regard: “Well, if Sakharov was deprived of the title of Hero of Socialist Labor three times ... By the way, the country only then found out that he was three times Hero”.