Hermitage Amsterdam breaks ties with Russian state museum
The Hermitage in Amsterdam severed ties with the state museum of the same name in Saint Petersburg in Russia, the board and Supervisory Board of the museum in Amsterdam decided.
"For a long time, the Hermitage Amsterdam kept aloof from political developments in Putin's Russia," the museum said. "Russia's recent attack on Ukraine makes this aloofness no longer tenable."
The exhibit "Russian avant-garde / Revolution in Art," which opened in the Amsterdam museum at the end of January, is closed until further notice.
Wednesday evening, another museum in the city expressed its reservation about working with the Amsterdam branch of the Hermitage. While undergoing renovations, the Amsterdam Museum was supposed to temporarily display a portion of its collection in a wing of the Hermitage Amsterdam. That cooperation was set to start on Saturday, but the Amsterdam Museum decided to put plans on hold due to the war in Ukraine.
The Amsterdam Museum said it thought the links with the Hermitage were too murky, said museum director Judikje Kiers in a statement. The Amsterdam Museum no longer thought the move was appropriate. "Also because there are demonstrations for Ukraine throughout the country," said Kiers. The doors to the wing will therefore remain closed "until further notice.”
The Hermitage Amsterdam displays art from the collection of the Russian State Museum in Saint Petersburg, which is one of the largest museums in the world. "In addition, the ties of the Hermitage Amsterdam with Russia are unmistakably present and too unclear for us," Kiers explained on Wednesday. "The Hermitage has not been able to allay our concerns about this. That is also a reason for us to suspend the opening and opening of the Amsterdam Museum wing in the Hermitage building at the moment."
The Hermitage Amsterdam said in a Facebook message that it was "dismayed" at the Russian invasion of Ukraine. "We strongly condemn this," the museum wrote on its Facebook page. The Hermitage also said that it was aligned with statements from the Dutch government opposing the Russian invasion.