Russia cancels Second World War allied forces photography exhibition and shuts down gallery – but was it politically motivated?

State-run museum cancelled exhibition less than a month before Victory Day

A gallery in Russia cancelled a Second World War exhibition of photographs taken by US and British photographers, sparking rumours that the event was pulled for political reasons.

Metenkov House Museum of Photography, in the fourth biggest city Yekaterinburg, cited “technical” problems for the cancellation of “Triumph in Tragedy: allies in the Second World War” – according to the BBC.

Both the US and British consulates are confused as to why the 150 already-invited guests have not been able to view the 150 images of Nazi concentration camps and allied forces from Russia, America and the UK.

However, a staff member of the state-run gallery told the BBC that they believe the decision was “political” but were not sure of the specific reason.

 

There is no mention of the exhibition on the gallery website.

This is happening in the run up to Victory Day, on the 9 May, that will celebrate the 70th anniversary of Russian forces’ defeat of the Nazis, however the contribution of allied armies is usually understated or ignored completely.

The director of the museum, Irina Yevdakimova, insists it has closed for an indefinite amount of time for safety reasons as she claims the building is “very old” and needs to be repaired.

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Pictures of Nazi concentration camps, like this one, were to be displayed

“The building is from 1880 - it’s very old,” she told the BBC. “We are a state museum and we can’t pick and choose when work is done.”

The photographs – including those by Robert Capa, Alfred Eisenstaedt and Cecil Beaton – were sourced from the Imperial War Museum in London, the US National Archives and Library of Congress.

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