21 Nov 2018 15:11

Film director Jean-Luc Godard refuses to work with Hermitage over Sentsov case

ST. PETERSBURG. Nov 21 (Interfax) - Film director Jean-Luc Godard has declined to take part in a joint project with the Hermitage over the case involving Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, the museum's press service said.

"Some time ago, our French partners and colleagues urged the Hermitage to do a joint project with Jean-Luc Godard. The Hermitage agreed and negotiations were conducted on Godard's visit to the Hermitage for that purpose in December. Unfortunately, he recently said he does not believe he has the right to visit the Hermitage due to the Sentsov case and that he is following the situation," the museum said.

Mikhail Piotrovsky, the director of the Hermitage, responded to Godard's statement, saying, "I keep repeating the formula: bridges of culture should be the last to explode in situations of political turbulence. The Hermitage and I myself do everything possible to embody that principle," he said.

Sentsov was detained in Crimea in 2014. In August 2015, he was sentenced to 20 years in a high-security penitentiary by the North Caucasus District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don for conspiracy to commit terrorism.

Sentsov went on hunger strike on May 14, 2018, demanding the release of all Ukrainians being held in Russia "for political reasons." Penitentiary doctors kept him alive with intravenous nourishment.

Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) Deputy Director Valery Maximenko told Interfax on October 5 that Sentsov was ending his hunger strike.