British art to be showcased in Russia


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Sculptures by Henry Moore and the first William Blake exhibition in Moscow will travel to Russia in a landmark cultural exchange, the British Council has announced.

In November, Moscow's State Pushkin Fine Arts Museum will host the exhibition William Blake and British Visionary Art, a show featuring a series of Blake etchings acquired by the Tate last year.

Next February, the Kremlin Museum, which operates under the directorship of Elena Gagarina, the daughter of the cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, will showcase a series of work loaned by the Henry Moore Foundation.

From 23 September, Antony Gormley's show Still Standing, A Contemporary Intervention in the Classical Collection, featuring 17 new sculptures, will open in the Greek and Roman galleries of the Hermitage, St Petersburg.

Next year, at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Russian director Dmitry Krymov will present the world premiere of his version of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Russian, as part of the World Shakespeare Festival.

A British Council spokesman said next year "extensive celebrations in Moscow and St Petersburg will take place around the centenary of Benjamin Britten's birth". These will include "symphonic, opera and chamber music performances with major Russian institutions".