Boycott Russian artists and cultural institutions?

The war in Ukraine is also having repercussions on international cultural life: Russian star conductor Valery Gergiev lost his post as chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra after he failed to publicly distance himself from his friend Vladimir Putin. Performances by opera star Anna Netrebko, who said on the weekend that she was against artists being forced to reveal their political beliefs, have also been cancelled. Europe's press analyses the pros and cons of such views.

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La Stampa (IT) /

Theatres are not war zones

Philosopher Donatella Di Cesare warns against a witch hunt in La Stampa:

“A balance must be maintained that is not about performing a balancing act but about showing an ethical and political sensitivity that is an integral part of being a mature country. If many political leaders have donned their helmets, we may disobey them, because what really matters is to remain civilised. To discriminate against others simply because of their birth, their belonging to a nation, is a discriminatory and racist act. We do not want our theatres, our stadiums, our universities, our squares to become war zones.”

Infowar (GR) /

Cultural boycotts are justified

Greece's Culture Minister Lina Mendoni has decided to cancel a live broadcast of Swan Lake from the Bolshoi Theatre to Athens' Megaron concert hall and ordered the suspension of all collaboration with Russian cultural organisations. Columnist Aris Chatzistefanou voices approves on Infowar:

“The performance at the concert hall is being postponed not because the piece was written by a Russian, Tchaikovsky, but because it is being performed by an institution funded by the Russian state, which is currently bombing an independent country. In fact, the Bolshoi Theatre, which is also the parent company of the Bolshoi Ballet company, is controlled by a group of politicians, bankers and businessmen personally selected by Putin.”

Corriere del Ticino (CH) /

Sport is business and business is politics

The sports world is also banishing Russia from its community and competitions. While some measures are more symbolic in nature, others have a tangible impact. Corriere del Ticino approves:

“After economic and political sanctions, Russia is now also affected by sporting sanctions. And this is anything but a surprise, because sport is also and above all - in particular at the top level - about business and politics. It generates millions in revenues and has always been an instrument of political propaganda. ... The international community couldn't send a really strong signal without including sport in the sanctions against Russia.”