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TOPIC: russian arts ban


Cancel Russia? The Risk Of Targeting Culture In Times Of War

From Tolstoy and the Bolshoi Ballet to Russia Today, the West is banishing Russian composers, artists and media. But is banishment of culture the right move in times of war?

BERLIN — Last week German TV channel RTL Nitro changed its schedule: instead of showing the classic James Bond film From Russia with Love, it ran with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. But wasn’t Vladimir Putin part of the secret service, and didn’t he say, “Once KGB, always KGB?” So maybe Goldfinger would have been a more appropriate choice? Or even Quantum of Solace?

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Of course, it’s important for programming to be tactful, especially during a crisis. But there are more important things at stake than tact. Almost the entire cultural sector seems to be scrutinizing itself, asking what links orchestras, museums or institutions have to Russia, whether they need to cut ties with them and how they can justify these decisions.

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