A new exhibition documenting the historic cooperation between Soviet Russia and its Western Allies during the second World war is set to go ahead in Liverpool this month.

Taking place at Liverpool’s Western Approaches HQ Museum – an underground WWII bunker based in the city centre – it will commemorate 80 years since the Arctic Convoys, when sailors made the journey from Liverpool to Russia in a move that helped defeat the Nazis.

The exhibition was first announced at the end of 2021, prior to the recently increased tensions between Russia and Ukraine on the world stage, but will go ahead with visitors from Russia’s Northern Maritime Museum and the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Moscow.

The display forms part of the UK-Russia ‘Arctic Convoys: A Shared History’ programme, and is the result of a partnership between the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Moscow and Big Heritage, parent organisation to the Western Approaches HQ museum.

Big Heritage said it is hoped to “build deeper links between the two cities and highlight cultural links between the UK and Russia”.

At the exhibition launch on February 22ns there will be a speech from Evgeny Tenetov, director of the Northern Maritime Museum in Russia’s Arkhangelsk. An international memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Western Approaches HQ Museum and the Northern Maritime Museum.

Tenetov said: “We believe that it is very important nowadays to demonstrate positive examples of collaboration in the cultural sector, and even more so — in the field of shared history: fighting fascism together was an unparalleled example of cooperation between nations.

“We are looking forward to collaborative research and exhibition projects, dedicated to the shared history of the UK and Russia.”

The UK-Russia programme is designed to create artistic collaborations between the museums of Northern Russia and the UK, as well as organising student exchanges between higher education institutions in Liverpool and Arkhangelsk.

Also appearing will be Christian Duncumb, Cultural Counsellor at the British Embassy in Moscow, and appearances from local Arctic Convoy veterans.

Dean Paton, Founder and Director of Big Heritage said bringing Russian cultural leaders to the UK “shows what can be achieved when our two countries work together.”

“This is an example of true collaboration between East and West, which needs both recognising and celebrating.”

Art Fund – Going Places – Oct 2023
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