Claims of theatre censorship denied by Russian culture ministry

Claims of theatre censorship denied by Russian culture ministry
Vladimir Medinsky, Russian Minister of Culture (Image: Sovet Federatsii under a CC licence)

19 January 2016

Reports in the Russian media last week have sparked fears regarding censorship of theatre productions by the Ministry of Culture.

The reports suggested that new plays must first be discussed by the Ministry of Culture before being put on in theatres. In an interview with radio station Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow), artistic director of St Petersburg’s Alexandrisky Theatre Valery Fokin spoke of officials giving recommendations as to what can be shown stage, noting that this practice applies only to new plays by contemporary authors.

In an interview with Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, published today, Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky stated that the Ministry is not engaged in theatre censorship and denied the claims that it is involved in making such recommendations.

“It is clear that the Ministry does not have the organisational nor financial [...] means to engage in the proofreading of texts,” said Mr Medinsky, stressing that a theatre’s policy is the responsibility of its head.

Source: Ekho Moskvy and RIA Novosti (in Russian)