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Hermitage nears conclusion of deal with Iran securing multiple joint exhibitions

The museum's director maintains that the agreement is no major coup

The Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg is close to signing a cultural agreement with Iran which will see the Russian institution collaborating with its Iranian counterparts on a series of joint exhibitions. The agreement will also increase scholarly exchange between the two countries.

Speaking to The Art Newspaper, Hermitage director, Professor Mikhail Piotrovsky, said: “We plan to sign an agreement with Iran but there’s no precise date at the moment. It depends on when the Iranians send a delegation to conclude the agreement.”

Dr Piotrovsky said that the agreement is “a standard agreement that we sign with any other country, and there’s nothing exceptional in it. Because it’s Iran, the media wants to see something big in this, but that’s not the case at all,” he said.

Dr Piotrovsky denied that the Iranian government is claiming Persian works of art from the Hermitage collection. In January, Iranian media reported that the Iranian government is preparing a list of works which were allegedly expropriated from the country by Russian armies in tsarist times and which Iran will seek from the museum.

For the past decade Russia has been supplying Iran with components for its nuclear reactors.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Hermitage close to deal with Iran'