The Russian Hermitage Museum has announced that it will not hold exhibitions in any Western country for at least a year after the return of its exhibits which had been loaned to museums in the EU.
“The Hermitage introduces a one-year moratorium on exhibitions in Europe and the United States”, he said in a social media post, reminding readers that the museum introduced a similar moratorium on exhibits inside Russia in the 1990s due to security concerns and financial risks.
He also announced that as of June 21, all of his exhibits had been returned from shows in Europe after loaning pieces to exhibitions in Amsterdam, Hamburg, Brussels, London, Milan, Rome and Paris.
The Hermitage noted that since the escalation of geopolitical tensions, many European visitors had begun to show a particular interest in the museum’s works. According to the museum, the Italian public greatly appreciated Russia’s decision not to immediately recall its works, allowing the exhibition to continue as planned, unlike “how Western partners on certain projects have done in Russia.”
While nearly 700 of the Hermitage exhibits have now returned home, the process has not been smooth. In March, Finnish customs decided to seize a number of valuable coins worth $46 million en route to Russia, arguing that they were subject to EU sanctions.
After Russian authorities warned that it was “Legal Chaos” and demanded the return of its cultural property, Finland eventually decided to return the artwork, insisting the incident happened due to the rapid pace at which sanctions were being introduced.
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