Preview

Russia

News
Acquisitions

Stedelijk expands collection of socially critical art by acquiring works by Russian activists Yulia Tsvetkova and Anna Tereshkina

Both artists have been detained by Russian authorities

News
Art market

'A crisis is always a good time to unite': Russian art galleries form new alliance to boost industry

The Association of Galleries aims to simplify the country's customs procedures and secure government funding

News
coronavirus

Russia sends Moscow’s museums into second lockdown until mid-January

Cultural workers voice frustration at mixed closure orders, as theatres, concert halls and restaurants are allowed to stay open

News
Russia

US and Russia 'leave aside the politics' to restore Raphael frescoes

A grant of over $100,000 has been given from the US to St Petersburg's State Hermitage Museum for the maintenance of three 16th-century school of Raphael works

News
Russia

For Putin’s birthday, Pussy Riot hangs rainbow flags on Moscow’s government buildings

The activist performance artists called their actions “a gift as a symbol of the love and freedom that are lacking” for LGBTQ communities in Russia

News
Museums & Heritage

Hermitage plans ‘exchange of outstanding and significant exhibits’ with National Museum of Iran

Despite pandemic, Russian and Iranian museum directors met online to discuss future cultural collaborations

News
Museums & Heritage

Has Putin’s $1.6bn plan to build new cultural centres throughout Russia hit the rocks?

Foundation running the huge project has cut more than 80% of staff, but construction continues

News
Art market

Cosmoscow determined to be first major fair to go ahead

Event still plans to run this week and hopes for a less distracted local Russian collector base, starved of international art travels

News
Money laundering

Will US Congress finally pass anti-money laundering legislation?

A recent Senate report found that secretive art market enables sanctions circumvention

News
Residencies

New York-based residency for Russian artists goes ahead as 'East-West divide' intensifies

US-Russia tensions heightened in the run up to November's US presidential election

Blog
Diary

Lights, camera, action: films exploring how Bauhaus went stateside and the dominance of Duchamp headline the TAN Russia Film Festival

News
Politics

Belarus protest work—painted with a police baton—sells for three million rubles

Contemporary artists in the country are reacting to the crisis after allegations of election fraud and police brutality

News
Hagia Sophia

Russia to fund small-scale replica Hagia Sophia in Syria that will be used as a church

Tactical move comes after Turkish president ordered historic Istanbul site to be turned into a mosque

News
Museums & Heritage

Cultural love-in between Italy and Russia sets ‘soft power’ alarm bells ringing

Growing unease as the special relationship between the two countries gains momentum during the Covid-19 crisis

News
Russia

State Russian Museum staff decry damage to antique picture frames

Petition to museum management raises alarm over frames in "critical condition" from improper storage

News
Monuments

Signed, sealed, delivered: new monument honours couriers on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic

Unveiled in a business centre in Moscow, the statue by contemporary artist Alexey Garikovich was commissioned by top Russian e-commerce and foodtech companies

Podcast

The destruction of Australia’s ancient Aboriginal heritage

Plus, art under threat in Putin's Russia and George Shaw on Thomas Jones. Produced in association with Christie's

News
Monuments

Russian art collector Andrei Filatov offers to buy America’s problematic statues

His Art Russe Foundation has made offers to preserve monuments of Theodore Roosevelt and Alexander Baranov that have been the target of protesters in the US

News
Russia

Forty protestors detained for defending Russian activist facing prison for posting art with LGBTQ message

Russia's arts community rallying behind Yulia Tsvetkova whose trial starts in July

News
Russia

Russian theatre director Kirill Serebrennikov found guilty of fraud and ordered to pay $1.85m in damages to culture ministry

Accused of embezzling funds while staging a contemporary arts festival, Serebrennikov faced six years in prison but was handed a suspended sentence

News
Russia

Culture crackdown ahead of Putin's referendum

Artist Pyotr Verzilov was sentenced to 15 days in prison for "petty hooliganism" in latest clampdown on the arts in Russia

News
Censorship

'I have a 1% chance of being acquitted': Russian activist faces six years in prison for posting vagina drawings online

Police say the body-positive images, accompanied by captions like ‘Real women have body fat and it’s normal,’ violate pornography laws

News
Unesco World Heritage Site

Religious sites in Russia and Ukraine hit hard by coronavirus thanks to pilgrims and poor social distancing

Many Unesco World Heritage sites that are also working monasteries have been accused of reacting slowly to the pandemic

Analysis
coronavirus

Russian museums in crisis: State Hermitage projects losses of almost half its annual revenue after closing for two months

Loss of tourism and oil market crash because of coronavirus pandemic wreak havoc as institutions seek state help

News
coronavirus

Russia’s culture minister has coronavirus

Appointed in January, Olga Lyubimova is the third Russian government minister to announce a Covid-19 diagnosis in the past week

News
Discoveries

Cache of Russian avant-garde works surfaces in regional museum's basement

Art historian Andrey Sarabyanov is planning a new exhibition of forgotten pieces by Kandinsky, Rodchenko and Stepanova

News
Museums & Heritage

Moscow’s new GES-2 arts centre delays grand opening to 2021

Coronavirus uncertainty postpones Ragnar Kjartansson exhibition, but power plant museum still aims to welcome locals this year

Exhibitions

The Pushkin's From Dürer to Matisse show closed just two days after opening—here's a special guided tour

The team at Russian Art Focus were lucky enough to film the exhibition before the Covid-19 pandemic forced the Moscow museum into lockdown

News
Museums & Heritage

Barcelona rejects plans for outpost of Russia’s State Hermitage Museum

Hermitage officials dismayed after city council refuses planning permission for new venue, citing multiple concerns

News
coronavirus

Coronavirus: Russian museums hit as Chinese tourists stay away

Russia has banned Chinese citizens from entering the country, slashing attendance at cultural institutions in Moscow and St Petersburg

News
Exhibitions

Largest collection of contemporary Indian art heads to Moscow

Several Indian private museums are lending works for an exhibition due to open at the State Tretyakov Gallery

News
Appointments

Russia's controversial culture minister ousted in Putin's government reshuffle

But Vladimir Medinsky, who has been replaced by Olga Lyubimova, will 'not be left without work' in culture, the Russian President says

News
Crime

Released but still under investigation: Russian couple embroiled in fraud scandal

Igor and Olga Toporovsky linked to controversial show of Russian avant-garde works in Ghent

News
Politics

Russian government quits as Putin rewrites constitution—with the help of key cultural leaders

Directors of the State Hermitage Museum and State Tretyakov Gallery are part of a team enlisted to create laws that will allow the president to remain in power

News
The Year in Review 2019

From trafficked treasures to the ravages of climate change: the heritage headlines of 2019

We look back at the biggest stories of the year

News
Russia

Russian museums follow Putin’s call for satellites in the regions

The Hermitage has opened a branch in Siberia, the Pushkin is renovating a Constructivist landmark in Samara and more agreements are in the works

News
Conservation & Preservation

Looted in Germany by Stalin’s brigades, a restored goddess goes on view at the Hermitage

Bronze sculpture gets new wings in a collaboration with Berlin’s Antikensammlung

News
Museum attendance

Influx of millions of Chinese tourists wreaks havoc for Russian museums

Electronic visas pave the way for ever greater visitors numbers, creating major logistical problems at Tsarskoe Selo and the Hermitage

Preview
Exhibitions

Was Peter great? Moscow exhibition details tsar’s huge cultural impact

An avid patron of the arts and sciences, the emperor gave Russian society a new perspective on the world and elevated the country’s place within it

News
Palmyra

Russia and Syria sign agreement to restore ancient city of Palmyra

Collaboration spearheaded by the State Hermitage Museum was made official in Damascus this week

News
Exhibitions

Russia, Germany and France join forces for 'incomparable' travelling show of contemporary European art

Exhibition showing "unique slice" of art from Europe will coincide with the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War

News
Russia

Moving to the suburbs: vast museum collections centre destined for 'New Moscow'

State Tretyakov Gallery among 23 Russian museums planning to store and show works near former killing field Kommunarka

News
Russia

Art trove belonging to Russian billionaire fugitive found hidden in village near Moscow

Investigators find paintings and rare books missing from private museum belonging to banker Alexei Ananyev accused of alleged financial crimes

News
Biennials & festivals

Moscow Biennale opening marred by 2017 controversy

Event’s president Julia Muzikantskaya accused of allegedly threatening artists and withholding payments

News
GES-2

Russian billionaire's huge Moscow art hub—designed by Renzo Piano—will open in September 2020

Leonid Mikhelson says that the "frightening" cost that he had initially anticipated for the GES-2 complex has doubled

Feature
Obituaries

Obituary: Nathalie Brooke, a leading figure in the preservation of Venice

A remarkable cultural ambassador in London's art, political, and musical scene and on return visits to her native Russia. One of the founders of Venice in Peril

News
Exhibitions

Major Kandinsky show opens in Saudi Arabia as Vladimir Putin arrives for rare state visit

Cultural programme of Russian art launches to coincide with president's trip to the Gulf state to sign over $2bn worth of deals

News
Museums

Staff quit in droves at Russian museum as ‘starvation wages’ bite

Deputy director’s swingeing salary cuts trigger resignations of around 50 employees at Moscow theatre museum

News
Russia

Pushkin State Museum to take control of nine contemporary art centres across Russia

Handover from Russian culture ministry is expected to be completed in early 2020

News
Restitution

Austria promises to return ancient artefacts to Russia that were taken as war trophies

An Austrian army officer took the 2,000-year-old objects from a war-damaged museum in the port of Temryuk at the end of the Second World War

Archive
Art market

The art market in Moscow is sustained by the new breed of super-rich businessmen—while their wives have opened a string of commercial galleries

“Most contemporary art collectors today are intellectuals who own their own company”

News
Conservation & Preservation

Moscow Kremlin Museums say ‘bravo!’ to restorers

State regalia, Russian icons and decorative pistols go on show in exhibition celebrating the hidden craft of conservation

News
Russia

Putin grants Russian citizenship to collector Sergei Shchukin’s grandson ahead of blockbuster Pushkin show

André-Marc Delocque-Fourcaud urges Russia to reunite collection in Moscow

News
State Russian Museum

State Russian Museum refurbishment cancelled amid protests

The renovation threatened the museum's architecture and collection, plaintiffs argued

News
State Hermitage Museum

St Petersburg's State Hermitage ponders Saudi Arabia satellite museum

The Hermitage will also expand its presence in Crimea with a new cultural centre planned in Sevastopol

News
Conservation & Preservation

Guggenheim launches conservation fellowship with help from Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin

Initiative aims to boost Russian expertise in rapidly developing field of preserving contemporary art

News
Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot member Veronika Nikulshina detained in Moscow on suspected drug charges

It is the second time in a month that the feminist activist has been arrested by police

News
Openings

Uzbekistan opens new art centre to boost 'undeveloped' local scene

Moscow's Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is offering curatorial expertise as part of growing network of partnerships with post-Soviet countries

Analysis
Museums & Heritage

Nineteenth-century realists pull in mega-crowds as Russian museum attendance peaks

Exhibitions in Russia of homegrown artists attract proportionally greater numbers than blockbusters in other countries

News

Russian man strolls through Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery in thong underwear

The latest bizarre incident at one of Russia’s most important institutions was an “unsanctioned performance” according to the museum

News
Prizes

Caravaggio in the flesh at The Art Newspaper Russia’s annual prize ceremony

Actors, musicians, dancers and a famous Moscow film director, combined with lighting wizardry, celebrate the Russian art world

News
Biennials & festivals

Authorities cancel activist youth festival in Russia's Far East

Officials raise concerns that the festival was promoting an LGBT agenda

News
Museums & Heritage

Hermitage and Pushkin join forces to show stellar Russian collections of Modern art

The museums are pooling the divided collections of Sergei Shchukin and Morozov brothers for a quartet of exhibitions

News
Loans

Hermitage and MoMA heads seek end to US-Russian loans freeze

Diplomats hint at future cooperation between the countries at Texas conference

Review
Books

Wish you were here: revolutionary postcards in Imperial Russia

Book collects pictorially subversive propaganda in a populist medium

News
Private Museums

Grand opening of Russian billionaire’s power-plant museum is postponed to 2020

GES-2 will be part of Moscow's Museum Mile, linked to Garage, the Tretyakov and the Pushkin

News
Art theft

Thief of Crimean painting at State Tretyakov Gallery apprehended

Brazen incident raises questions about museum security in Russia

News
Politics

Is an art Cold War thaw coming? US and Russian museum leaders and diplomats to discuss loan freeze

Public conversation to be held in February will address long impasse on museum loans

News
Museums & Heritage

Moscow residents petition Garage Museum to reject sponsorship from property developer

Activists say PIK Group's high-rise developments are environmentally unsafe and only aimed at making "super profits"

News
Conservation & Preservation

Restored Soviet apartment listed on Airbnb takes guests back in time to ‘1930s Russian utopia’

The 35m sq. one-bedroom flat has been carefully renovated to include avant-garde furniture and design

News
Technology

Moscow's Tretyakov Gallery develops blockchain app to bring Russian art to the world

Digital initiative will invite users to explore and sponsor more than 190,000 works in the collection

News
Museums & Heritage

Staff at State Russian Museum take legal action to halt renovation

Senior employees claim the $17m project threatens the Mikhailovsky Palace building and its collections

News
Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot to receive €37,000 compensation from Russia for human rights violations

European Court of Human Rights ordered payment over treatment of the group in pre-trial detention and treatment in court

News
Russia

Russian police seize drawings by high school pupils under 'gay propaganda' law

Students’ parents complain and psychologists sent to school after art contest for International Day of Tolerance draws fire from authorities

News
Monuments

Kant monument splashed with pink paint in Kaliningrad

Defacement may be politically motivated as nationalists see the veneration of the German figure as unpatriotic

News
Politics

Mount Athos, the Greek peninsula that is home to 20 monasteries, is under threat after Ukraine wins approval to split from the Russian church

Russian pilgrims can no longer participate in services or sacraments there

News
Exhibitions

Selfie-takers accidentally damage Goya and Dali works in Russia’s Yekaterinburg

A group of women send ‘Bravissimo!’ etching and ‘No’ print crashing to the ground, as one punter only just escapes being crushed

News
Jamal Khashoggi

Russia announces major Kandinsky show in Saudi Arabia amid Khashoggi murder controversy

A small number of works by the Russian avant-garde artist are currently at “Davos in the Desert” conference to act as teaser for future exhibition

News
Exhibitions

Citing 'rapidly developing' ties, Russian fund will take art exhibition to Saudi Arabia

Announcement comes as evidence mounts in slaying of the dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

News
Architecture

New Russian cathedral to feature frescoes celebrating armed forces

Church is latest example of symbiosis between church and military patriotism

News

Russian authorities force Gulag museum to close

Volunteer-run organisation has been based in former Soviet secret police headquarters for the past decade

News
Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot protester Pyotr Verzilov ‘was probably poisoned’, doctors say

Medics in Berlin have not identified substance but are confident Russian will recover

News
Protest

French court releases Russian protest artist Pyotr Pavlensky from pre-trial detention

Femen activists showed their support outside the courthouse by sewing their lips shut in a recreation of his first performance

News
Politics

Pussy Riot supporter Pyotr Verzilov in critical condition after suspected poisoning

Activist who was recently imprisoned for Russian group's World Cup protest in July "lost his vision, speech and ability to walk"

News
Leonardo da Vinci

‘Genuine’ Leonardo ‘sold’ for €72m on classified ads site Avito

The seller says that the painting, titled A Young Girl in Furs, was authenticated by the Stockholm art valuation firm Atelje Catellani

News
Art market

Russia and Qatar cosy up at Cosmoscow as tensions continue in the Gulf

Moscow contemporary art fair features first Qatari contemporary art exhibition in Russia as the two countries try to foster cultural ties

News
State Hermitage Museum

Putin demands ramping-up of cultural hub in annexed Crimea

State Hermitage Museum and Tretyakov are involved in arts centre in contested region

News
Banksy

Banksy’s viral post about unauthorised Russian show is a sign of its success, organiser says

The street artist’s Instagram comment that the show has “nothing to do with me” set off an online debate about artists’ rights—which made him LOL

News
Russia

Russian authorities stop Pussy Riot member from travelling to Edinburgh's Fringe festival

Maria Alyokhina had spent two years in prison for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”

News
Russia

Action star Steven Seagal is 'deeply humbled' by his appointment as Russia's special envoy

The actor, who will be working on improving Russian-American relations including culture, was granted a Russian passport by Putin in 2016

Blog
In the frame

Catnapped: abduction of moody moggie Begemot from Moscow museum sparks media frenzy

News

Tretyakov clamps down on ‘illegal’ tours by banning visitors from discussing works of art

Ordinary groups are being targeted by the gallery’s guards for "exchanging views" about paintings in fight against bogus guides

News
Disasters & destruction

Syrian museums seek Russian expertise to restore destroyed Palmyra sculptures

Ancient city occupied by Islamic State was retaken by Syrian army with Russian support in 2017

News
Russia

Putin praises Moscow's urban development in wake of World Cup success

But Russian president's remarks at eighth Moscow Urban Forum angered preservationists

News
Russia

Pussy Riot say they invaded pitch during World Cup final as political protest

Russian activist group describes performance as a tribute to dissident poet and artist Dmitri Prigov

News
Private Museums

Moscow's Garage Museum still going strong at ten, despite co-founders’ split

Roman Abramovich and Dasha Zhukova will continue to fund their contemporary art museum

News
Politics

Founder of Museum of Russian Impressionism flees for the UK

Boris Mints’s institution says that exhibitions are continuing to run

News
World Cup

Moscow erases legal graffiti to allow for World Cup advertising

Authorised works have been targeted alongside illegal ones

News
Conservation & Preservation

Russia opens new exhibition centre dedicated to icons

The Grabar Art Conservation Center has launched the Ovchinnikov Ikonoteka space, which is named in honour of renowned restorer