Putin names Russia’s new culture minister

Putin names Russia’s new culture minister

st petersburg. Vladimir Putin, who last month stepped down as President of Russia and was immediately appointed Prime Minister by his successor, Dmitry Medvedev, has chosen career diplomat Alexander Avdeyev as the new culture minister. Mr Avdeyev, 62, has been Russia’s ambassador to France since 2002. He replaces Alexander Sokolov, who angered the Russian art world in October when he prevented the display of photos showing two Russian policeman kissing at an exhibition of Russian art in Paris. Russian commentators say that Mr Avdeyev’s nomination is a sign the Putin government will increasingly utilise the country’s cultural heritage to project a softer image in response to its authoritarian reputation. J.V.

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