The Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik, whose alliance with chief exec Clive Gillinson at Carnegie Hall provoked the resignation of chairman Ron Perelman, has run into trouble at the University of Oxford.
The Guardian newspaper will tomorrow publish a protest by academics and Russian dissidents, calling on the university to stop work on the Blavatnik School of Government, by which it is ‘selling its reputation and prestige to Putin’s associates.’ The letter says Blavatnik belongs to ‘a consortium of Russian billionaires called Access-Alfa-Renova (AAR)’ which engages in harassment against western companies and anti-Putin individuals.
No evidence is brought in the letter to implicate Blavatnik in such activities. From the little we know, he seems to be a fairly benign oligarch, far less involved in pro-Putin activities than several prominent musicians and City bankers.
Universities, on the whole, are not choosy when someone offers them a few million. The letter is unlikely to have much effect.