Russian minister warns of ‘anti-Russian provocations’ at Venice Biennale

Russian minister warns of 'anti-Russian provocations' at Venice Biennale
Pavlovsk Vauxhall, Station Russia, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018

2 May 2018

The Russian Culture Ministry has warned participants visiting this summer’s biggest architecture event that they could be targeted by ”anti-Russian provocations” amid growing diplomatic tensions.

Deputy Culture Minister Vladimir Aristarkhov claimed that Russia’s presence at fairs such as the Venice Biennale of Architecture could provoke protests as relations between Moscow and the West deteriorate.

“We must be vigilant,” Aristarkhov claimed. “We are warning to take the international situation into account. The Skripal case shows that our [so-called] partners will stop at nothing: they’ll create any kind of provocation, as long as it has an anti-Russian bent.”

Aristarkhov, however, said that the government would stop short of issuing an official warning to travellers. “There’s no need,” he said earlier in April. “Everyone reads the newspapers.”

Headed by project commissioner Semyon Mikhailovsky, the Russian pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale is dedicated to the history, scope and future of the country’s sprawling railways.

Named Station Russia, the project is set to be funded almost completely by the country’s state-owned rail company, Russian Railways.

The 16th Venice Architecture Biennale is taking place this year between 26 May and 25 November 2018.