Monday, 15 December 2014

Javid: "Culture is Bigger than Politics"

Britain's Minister of Culture Sajid Javid has defended the British Museum's decision to lend one of the iconic ripped-off Parthenon sculptures to the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg ('British Museum right to loan Parthenon marbles to Russia, says minister')
“Britain is currently leading the way in imposing economic sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine,” he will say. “But that’s not a reason to stop the British Museum loaning part of the Parthenon sculptures to a museum in St Petersburg. Because culture is bigger than politics.” Javid will insist that art and culture should be used to build understanding rather than create division. [...] "a cultural boycott would achieve nothing. It would be needlessly divisive, and would run counter to the long history of cultural freedom that this country holds dear.” 
Needlessly divisive? Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine is divisive Mr Javid. Countries committed to the notions of sovereignty saying 'no' to aggression with commitment is by its nature divisive. Sanctions which are not sanctions are not - but then what's the point of them? Is going along with Russian ambitions in east central Europe what  Britain "holds dear" these days? Where is Britain's commitment here Mr Javid? What else is bigger than your government's politics?  So how about Britain showing a bit of that same culture and giving the ripped off bits of the Parthenon back to the Greeks and the city of Athens?

Anyway, to judge from the comments under the article, 'Putin's Internet Spam Army' are happy to applaud Minister Javid.

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