news: The Moscow Film Museum
Note of Protestation
The Moscow Film Museum
As we have just heard from the Moscow Film Museum and its
director, Mr. Naum Kleiman, the Film Museum has been ordered by Mr. Nikita
Michalkov, president of the Association of Filmmakers of the Russian
Federation, to vacate its rooms immediately. The Museum has to leave
the premises it used up to now at the Kino-Zentr in Moscow.
to quit the premises must be seen in the context of the sale of the
building by its former owner, the Association of Filmmakers of the Russian
Federation, to a private investor. This investor demands the immediate
liberation of the building by its former user, the Film Museum.
of the Film Museum, in order to realize a property sale, is a dangerous
and destructive act which harms the film culture of Russia. It is also
in contradiction with the former decision of the Federation of Filmmakers
to allow the Film Museum to remain in its premises until the Ministry
of Culture has found adequate new rooms for the Museum.
In the past,
many declarations of solidarity were issued in favor of the Moscow
Film Museum. Recently, the German State Minister for Culture and Media,
Christina Weiss, has contacted Michail Schwydkoy, director of the Agency
for Culture and Cinema in the Russian Ministry of Culture, to plead the
cause of the Moscow Film Museum. All these appeals have apparently been
ignored by the Russian authorities.
Mr. Michalkow, who is now evicting
the Film Museum, is also the director of the Russian Culture Foundation
which should work towards the preservation and safeguarding of the
cultural heritage of Russia.
At present, the Film Museum
is being offered new premises at the Gorki studios, a location on the
outskirts of Moscow, far away from the center, whose buildings are
in a miserable state und which is also going to be privatized in the
near future. Doubtlessly, eventual new "users" will
then have to relocate another time.
Through the forcible
eviction the activities of the Film Museum which have radiated far
beyond Moscow and Russia will come to a standstill. There will be no
more film screenings, retrospectives and exhibitions. The closure of
the Film Museum also means the loss of an important pillar in the German-Russian
Cultural relations. The invaluable assets of the Film Museum are surrendered
to an uncertain future - and all this, because
a building, which was formerly public property, must be privatized and
has to be sold to a new owner.
We are protesting against these measures
which threaten the existence of the Moscow Film Museum and join the
protest declaration which has been issued by the Russian Guild of
Film Historians and Film Critics.
Berlin, February 18, 2005
Ulrich and Erika Gregor
Freunde der Deutschen Kinemathek
International Forum of New Cinema of the Berlinale
Michail Schwydkoy email@example.com
Naum Kleiman: firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Freunde der Deutschen Kinemathek: email@example.com
Forwarded and supported by FIPRESCI