INTRODUCTION: An exhibition of French and Soviet art dedicated to the first 30 years of the century opened at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow on Wednesday (3 June), during a row over alleged censorship.
SV & PULL BACK Soviet and French flags outside Pushkin Fine Arts Museum.
CU Exhibition poster.
TILT DOWN French Ambassador Henri Fraument-Merisse opens show PULL BACK GV entrance hall.
SV PAN Visitors in exhibition.
CU PULL BACK SV Cocteau's poster for Ballet Russe.
SV PAN Paintings on wall.
CU Paris in winter by Albert Mark.
GV & CU Matisse's The Dance. (2 SHOTS)
CU PULL BACK SV PAN Two paintings by Van Dongen.
CU & SV Paintings by Chagall. (4 SHOTS)
SV Russian poster PAN TO painting by Petrov-Vodain The Commissar's Death.
SV Cameraman filming painting.
CU Malevich painting The Red Horseman.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: An exhibition of French and Soviet art dedicated to the first 30 years of the century opened at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow on Wednesday (3 June), during a row over alleged censorship. Entitled 'Moscow-Paris 1900-1930', the exhibition is designed to present an overall picture of the cultural life of the two countries during that period. The display was first presented at Paris futuristic Pompidou Centre last year, and at that time the Soviet authorities signed a convention that there would be no changes when it was transferred to Moscow.
SYNOPSIS: Over 2,500 works have been loaned by art galleries and private collectors for the exhibition. They cover every aspect of artistic activity, from literature, the performing arts, architecture and design, to photography, sculpture, and painting.
But during Wednesday's opening ceremony French Ambassador Henri Fraument-Merisse made a speech protesting against what he called 'unilateral modifications' made by the Russians.
The French authorities claim all references to Trotsky and to certain political events in the Soviet Union, such as the suicides of dissidents, have been erased. And they say articles in the catalogue on Soviet history have been censored. As a result French Cultural Minister Jack Lang and the chairman of the Pompidou Centre, Jean-Claude Groshens, the announced they are boycotting the event. The Soviet organisers have denied the censorship allegations and claim some changes were force on them by cataloguing difficulties.
Russian-born painter Marc Chagall spent many years working in Paris and typifies the Franco-Soviet cultural interchange of the period. Some of his pictures of Russian village life are on display in Moscow but the French claim others, on religious themes, have been removed.
Despite the criticism the exhibition is considered a breakthrough, particularly as some formerly taboo subjects such as surrealism, are being presented to the Russians for the first time.