Russia’s Secret Services Shut Down WWII Photography Exhibition

A photographic exhibition documenting the Second World War from a Western perspective due to open in Yekaterinburg, Russia, last week has been cancelled. The Metenkov House Museum of Photography is now closed down indefinitely. Russia’s secret services, the FSB, is suspected to be behind the shut down.

The exhibition, set to include images such as V-J Day in Times Square by Alfred Eisenstaed, was promoted via the British Embassy’s Facebook page which said it would “recount events of the Second World War that are little known in Russia.”

According to the Telegraph, the tone of the exhibition angered the Kremlin but neither the museum nor the British Embassy in Russia has confirmed these rumors.

The Metenkov House Museum of Photography had scheduled the exhibition Triumph and Tragedy: Allies in the Second World War to open last week but released a statement saying the entire institution was shutting down due to ‘technical difficulties.’

But the real cause of the closure is thought to be a political one. Moscow is thought to have been upset by the boycotting of the 70th anniversary of the ending of WWII celebrations in Russia by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama on May 9, 2015. Both were protesting against the annexation of the Ukraine.

Mikhail Menshikov, a spokesman for the British Embassy in Russia, said: “We are speaking to our American colleagues about opening the exhibition at another time.”

“This exhibition is a good opportunity to show cooperation between Soviet soldiers and British and American forces during the war,” he added.

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