“Family values” should guide 2014 Year of Culture in Russia

"Family values" should guide 2014 Year of Culture in Russia
Scarlet Sails celebration in St Petersburg. Photograph: Marina Lystseva under a CC licence

1 November 2013

Family values and not multiculturalism should be at the heart of the 2014 Year of Culture in Russia, said Russian culture minister Vladimir Medinsky yesterday. Speaking at the World Russian People’s Council in Moscow, Medinsky said that Russia’s cultural policy should be based on “large and healthy families, healthy leisure time, free creative labour, freedom of thought, self-education and constant spiritual work.”

He said that the aim of 2014 should be to develop Russia’s human capital in order to “grow the population of the Russian people and other brother nations living in this country”. He added that the Ministry of Culture should lead on areas such as theatre, literature, architecture and film rather than follow in the footsteps of others.

In a separate speech given last month at a meeting about the Year of Culture, Medinsky slated contemporary art: “Why should contemporary art mean something incomprehensibly cubic, clumsy to the extent of an installation that looks like a pile of bricks, all financed from the state budget?” Russian President Vladimir Putin announced 2014 as the Year of Culture earlier this year as a way of preserving the country’s cultural heritage and promoting Russian culture abroad.