The Queen refuses to hand over swords destined for Moscow museums
The Queen has joined the cultural boycott of Russia by withholding swords destined for Moscow.
The Royal Collection had agreed to loan three 17th-century weapons to the Kremlin Museums for an exhibition about duelling, according to The Guardian.
Alisher Usmanov, the Russian oligarch, who has been sanctioned following the war in Ukraine, was a sponsor of the event titled The Duel: from Trial by Combat to a Noble Crime.
However, permission for the swords to be used in the exhibition was withdrawn in mid-February.
The move, combined with other European institutions pulling out of the event, meant its scheduled opening on March 4 has been postponed, with no new date set.
Kremlin Museums said: “The core of the project consists of exhibits from European museums, which were forced to withdraw them before the time due to the geopolitical situation.”
A spokesman for the Queen’s collection told The Guardian: “A decision to postpone a loan of three swords from the Royal Collection to the Kremlin Museums in Moscow was made in mid-February.”
The swords included one which is believed to have belonged to King Charles I.
Mr Usmanov, who had recent ties to Everton Football Club and before that Arsenal, and Igor Shuvalov, a former Russian deputy prime minister, were both sanctioned by the UK earlier this month.
The men are worth a combined $19 billion, according to the Foreign Office, but will now have all their UK assets frozen and be banned from entering the country.
A new “oligarch task force” is also being created, with ministers and officials from four government departments working with the National Crime Agency.
The UK and other Western nations have targeted Russians with links to the Kremlin to “ratchet” up economic and political pressure on Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, after his invasion of Ukraine.