The mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, talked this weekend about what should be done about with the Russian Museum, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and said he believes it should remain open because “culture is the best antidote to barbarity”.
The museum, which is a branch of the State Museum of St Petersburg, is in the former tobacco factory, the Tabacalera building. De la Torre says the council will see how the situation in Ukraine evolves and that there may be complications in moving works of art between Spain and Russia, but that at present he is in favour of continuing with the exhibitions which have been planned.
The mayor also stressed that it is important to distinguish between Russian people and art and those who govern Russia, pointing out that there is a movement in that country which is against the invasion and those protesting deserve credit for speaking out because they are likely to be jailed.
This weekend he also held discussions with the Ukrainian consul in Malaga, Svitlana Kramarenko, and the president of the Ukraine community to organise help in the form of sending food and other supplies to Ukraine. “They have mechanisms to get take supplies in lorries to the frontier with Poland,” he explained afterwards. There will also be an information stand in the Plaza de la Marina, where protests against the invasion have been taking place, where collections can be organised.
The mayor and the consul also discussed welcoming refugees to Malaga. This is something that has to be organised by the EU or the Spanish government, but they talked about how many people could be accommodated by the authorities in the province and by local families.