The British Council in Russia has been forced to close in the wake of a diplomatic row between the two countries. It coincides with the news that 23 British diplomats have been asked to leave Russia in tit-for-tat expulsions following the attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the UK. The pair, who became ill in Salisbury on 4 March, were poisoned with Russian-made nerve agent Novichok. The Russian government denies involvement.
A statement released by the British Council condemns the closure. “We are profoundly disappointed at this development,” it reads. “It is our view that when political or diplomatic relations become difficult, cultural relations and educational opportunities are vital to maintain on-going dialogue between people and institutions.”
A number of events have been cancelled this week, including a talk by Manchester International Festival artistic director John McGrath. According to Artnet, long-term projects affected by the row include a competition to select a Russian artist to develop a memorial dedicated to William Shakespeare in Moscow.
The British Council statement continues, “We remain committed to the development of long-term people-to-people links with Russia as we do in over 100 other countries.”
- The Line King: A profile of Al Hirschfeld, on the prolific characterist’s 115th birthday.
- Ditto publish 100 Club Stories in celebration of the iconic London venue
- Adobe Stock identifies 'multilocalism' as the next trend to shape visual culture
- “I want my work to function like a good book": illustrator Charlotte Ager
- "Even if you cover a shit in glitter it’s still a shit": top creatives show us their CVs
- Stephen Isaac-Wilson's new film for Boiler Room remembers Manchester's 90s queer clubbing scene
- "Don't drink and dance in front of your peers": ten creatives on their biggest mistakes
- Tsto returns to design Flow Festival's identity, pushing and playing with its typography
- Beyoncé and Jay Z take over the Louvre for Apeshit music video
- All internships are not created equal: how to spot the best opportunities and have the courage to reject the duds
- How Alex Prager made the world stop and stare
- Neville Brody launches type foundry, Brody Fonts