Press Release on the unjust court proceedings

European artists and intellectuals call on Russian prosecutor to drop
criminal charges against Museum directors.

On 13 December the European Cultural Parliament, ECP, adopted a resolution
protesting against the court proceedings against two leading personalities in
the Russian world of Arts – Yury Samodurov, the former director of the Sakharov
Museum in Moscow, and Andrey Erofeev, former curator at the State Tretyakov
Gallery, who are both facing serious and unfounded charges of “inciting
religious and ethnic hatred” through the organization of a “Forbidden Art”
exhibit in 2007. This exhibition was opened in the Sacharov Museum* in Moscow in
2007 and was closed after a few weeks upon order of the authorities. Mr
Samodurov and Mr Erofeev may now be facing years of imprisonment.

The ECP Members – some 80 artists and intellectuals from more than 30
European countries – expressed grave concern about these court proceedings, by
which Russian authorities are violating their commitments and obligations to
respect basic human rights, including freedom of artistic expression.

The ECP Resolution calls on the prosecutor’s office to drop the charges
against the two Museum directors.

In another resolution the ECP appealed to the government of Bosnia and
Herzegovina to fulfil its responsibilities, according to European standards, to
support and finance the preservation of cultural historical heritage and
cultural institutions, which are of vital importance to the country which is
still suffering from cultural and ethnic division.

The European Cultural Parliament, which has more than 150 Members from 43
European countries, including Russia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, held its 8th
session in Gothenburg, Sweden on 11-13 December 2009. ECP discussed quality and
reflection in culture and media and several members expressed concern that “fast
news” in the digital world of today would reduce the level of ambition regarding
quality and analysis in the media. Sinking quality constitutes a threat against
Democracy. Many ECP Members also pointed at sinking quality awareness in several
fields of arts, e.g. in the world of opera.

the resolution about Russia
the resolution about Bosnia and Herzegovina

For any further information please contact the Secretary General of the ECP,
Karl-Erik Norrman: href="">
or tel. 0049-170-1644 950.

* The Sacharov Museum is by itself a symbol or the fight for
Human Rights in Russia and carries the name of the Russian human rights activist
and Nobel Peace Price laureate Andrey Sacharov

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