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Political disputes are no obstacle to UK-Russia Year of Culture — British director

March 14, 2014, 16:53 UTC+3 LONDON
On Thursday evening, Leigh Gibson took part in Russia Visualized project presentation, held in London’s Calvert 22 Gallery
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© ITAR-TASS/Marina Lystseva

LONDON, March 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Political differences between Moscow and London caused by the Ukrainian crisis will not hinder this year's UK-Russia Year of Culture, believes Leigh Gibson, the executive director of the UK program heading to Russia from the British Council.

On Thursday evening, Gibson took part in Russia Visualized project presentation, held in London’s Calvert 22 Gallery. The project has been developed by London arts foundation Calvert 22 in collaboration with Tate Modern, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum and the Photographers' Gallery.

The situation is certainly very tense at the moment, Gibson told Itar-Tass on Friday. But it is important to maintain a dialogue between people, between organizations and between artists, she said.

“Cultural links provide one of the best opportunities to air issues where we might agree — or disagree,” she said. “We should always seek to keep the channels of communication open for discussions” about our mutual interests, our shared past and about what we can do together in the future, she said.

Elena Pakhomova, the project manager at Calvert 22 Foundation, told Itar-Tass that London’s leading museums organizing exhibitions across Russia “have joined efforts to present the most extended program of the UK-Russia Year of Culture”.

The British Council and the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that 2014 will see the biggest ever program of UK cultural projects take place across Russia and an unprecedented showcase of Russian culture go on in the United Kingdom.

Celebrations will run throughout the whole year, starting in January and finishing in December, officially launched in April with an exhibition, The Golden Age of the Russian Avant-Garde at Moscow Museum and Exhibition Association Manege, supervised by British film director Peter Greenaway. The UK-Russia Year of Culture will culminate with an exhibition at the Science Museum in London about Russian space exploration, which will include extremely rare artifacts that have never been displayed outside Russia.

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