They say that energy is Russia's new weapon of diplomacy. And as Russia's state-owned gas giant, Gazprom is never far from the front line. But now, it seems, Gazprom's grip extends even to the art world. The group has been credited with brokering the deal to ensure that From Russia, the controversial exhibition of Russian and French paintings which features Matisse's Dance, went ahead at London's Royal Academy.
The exhibition, which opened yesterday, was almost scrapped amid a backdrop of worsening diplomatic relations between Russia and the United Kingdom. But Gazprom persuaded officials to authorise the transfer of the paintings to London. The show is sponsored by E.ON, which owns a stake in Gazprom.
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