Known for his outspokenness, Russian film director Nikita Mikhalkov has again found himself at the centre of a media storm, this time for comparing a European Museum of the Year award — won by the Yeltsin Centre — to the Iron Cross of the Wehrmacht.
On 6 May Yekaterinburg’s Yeltsin Centre, devoted to the legacy of Russia’s first president, Boris Yeltsin, was honoured with the Kenneth Hudson Award, which is given “in recognition of the most unusual and daring achievement that challenges common perceptions of the role of museums in society”.
Mikhalkov criticised this decision yesterday on radio station Govorit Moskva, saying that the situation was akin to a Soviet citizen being awarded the Iron Cross, a Nazi military award.
According to the Burnt by the Sun director, the Yeltsin Centre was granted the award because it presents “an ideology that suits those who (...) sanction us”, later expressing his belief that the museum “distorts the story, either by falsifying the facts, or by simply hiding them”. He added that he made such statements “as a citizen” and as “a Russian artist who has lived in Russia all his life”.
The Yeltsin Centre has dismissed Mikhalkov’s claims as absurd.
Source: Meduza (in Russian)