Dutch literary translator Hans Boland has refused to accept an award from the Russian authorities for his work, in protest at 'president Putin's behaviour and thinking', Dutch NRC news website reported.
"I would with great gratitude accept this honor if it wasn't for [President Vladimir Putin], whose behavior and way of thinking I despise. He represents a big threat to freedom and peace on our planet," translator Hans Bolland wrote in response to an invitation to the Kremlin to receive the award from Putin himself in November.
"Every connection between him [Putin] and me, his name and the name of [Alexander] Pushkin, is disgusting and intolerable for me,"- Bolland wrote in his letter.
The Pushkin medal is the highest cultural award Russia can bestow and was to have been given to Boland for his highly praised translations of works by Dostoyevsky, Pushkin and other Russian greats.