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.”
- Ruud van Empel’s uncanny photographs blend artificiality with naturalism
- Grant James-Thomas shoots twins with a painterly aesthetic for Vogue Italia
- In Stiya, photographer Cole Barash compares a storm and the birth of his first child
- Nano illustrates the different kinds of loneliness that we all feel from time to time
- Jan Hakon Erichsen is a balloon-destroying artist whose work you really shouldn't try at home
- Clarity of concept is at the heart of Seoul-based graphic designer Son Ayong’s posters
- “The future of design is in the creation of tools”: Meet the Space Type Generator
- How Pelle Cass creates his jarring “still time-lapse” images
- Lacoste once again swaps its iconic crocodile logo for ten endangered species
- Introducing Double Click – our new series rounding up the best of the digital design world
- Typeface Ciao communicates auditive intonations of the spoken word
- Yushi Li on photographing men she met through Tinder