Russia calls for return of Rachmaninov's remains

Craigie G

Craigie G

2015-08-19 14:01:35

Russia has called on the US to return the remains of seminal composer Sergei Rachmaninov.

Rachmaninov left Russia in 1917, following the October revolution. He spent the rest of his life living in Europe and America before his death in 1943.

Culture minister Vladimir Medinsky comments: "Russia's greatest genius Sergei Rachmaninov is currently presented in the West absolutely wrongly.

"If you look at American websites and read American Wikipedia, you will learn that Sergei Rachmaninov is a great American composer of Russian origin.”

Rachmaninov is buried in New York, where he lived for many years.

Sergei Khodnev – a journalist for Kommersant Daily, rubbishes Medinsky’s claims: “The idea, which came out of nowhere, seems to be driven more by political expediency rather than interest in the composer's personality in particular.

"Maybe the intent is to take Rachmaninov away from the United States, since in the American mentality he is also one of their own.

"Without question, this is a political need for yet another patriotic spectacle, for a sad yet triumphant event to boost the national spirit.”

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