Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Shakeup in Russian Ministry of Culture

In the Russian Federation the FSB have raided the culture ministry and arrested the deputy culture minister on suspicion of embezzlement

See also: 'Russia detains minister held in $700,000 fraud probe' Art Daily Thursday, March 17, 2016
Deputy arts minister Grigory Pirumov, who was arrested on Tuesday, is accused of organising a conspiracy that stole at least 50 million rubles ($707,000) intended for restoration work on Moscow's Novodevichy Convent [...] The high-profile case is being investigated by Russia's FSB security service and also involves a junior culture ministry official as well as the head of a restoration company. Pirumov is accused of creating and leading "an organised group... whose activities were aimed at sealing state contracts with inaccurate and exaggerated costs" for restoration work on Novodevichy Convent, Interfax reported. Investigators claim that the amount embezzled was more than one third of the entire restoration budget. The scandal has proved hugely embarrassing for Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, who has allocated state funds for projects glorifying Russian history.  
Pirumov will be held until May 10 when a judge is expected to decide whether to extend his pre-trial detention. If charged and convicted, he could face up to 10 years in jail.

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