The whole museum community of the Russian Federation was put at risk as a result of the act of vandalism carried out on August 14 by activists of the God’s Will movement against the “Sculptures We Do Not See” exhibition at the Manege Central Exhibition Hall.
The actions of the radical “activists” have inflicted serious damage on the works by Vadim Sidur belonging to the national fund of the Russian Federation. Vadim Sidur was a World War II veteran, who got seriously wounded in the war; most of his works bear the marks of pain, suffering, tragedy, but never mockery.
The Vadim Sidur Museum was established in Moscow in 1989. Since 2011, it has been part of the Manege Museum and Exhibition Association. The art of Vadim Sidur is varied and multi-faceted, spanning sculpture, graphics, poetry, prose and the cinema. It has played a major role in the national art history. The works of the internationally acclaimed author have featured in numerous exhibitions in Russia (the USSR) and abroad. His shows got much positive press from the media both in Russia and abroad.
We would like to stress that the acts of the God’s Will group undermining the authority of the Russian Orthodox Church also break the fundamental principle of tolerance, which is the basis of the multiconfessional and multicultural mode of life of the peoples of the Russian Federation.
The incident has put in jeopardy the museum community of the Russian Federation, which is now vulnerable in the face of vandals smashing art on display at exhibitions. If the society ignores this fact of damage caused to the national museum stock, no museum will be safe tomorrow from vandalism by people who believe it is their right to attack what constitutes the cultural heritage of the nation.
We expect the guilty to be punished. Acts of vandalism against monuments in public spaces, cemeteries, churches and museums are intolerable. Steps must be taken to prevent such extremist acts in the future.
Marina Loshak, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
Zelphira Tregulova, State Tretyakov Gallery
Mikhail Mindlin, National Center for Contemporary Art
Julia Shakhnovskaya, Polytechnic Museum
Ekaterina Pronicheva, VDNH
Anton Belov, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
Maria Nasimova, Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center
Peter Mancilla-Cruz, Mikhail Bulgakov Museum
Vasili Tsereteli, Moscow Museum of Modern Art
Semen Mikhailovsky, I. Repin Russian Academy of Arts
Alexei Levykin, State Historical Museum
Natalia Samoilenko, Tsaritsyno Museum
Olga Sviblova, Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow