AN exhibition detailing the history of duelling at state-run museums in Moscow has been cancelled after a host of European countries withdrew loaned artworks in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The exhibition, titled: The Duel: From Trial by Combat to Noble Crime was to show loans from ten European museums but each one has cancelled their loans.
The artworks were due to be showcased on March 4, but institutions from Paris, Madrid, Leeds, Vienna and London have since cancelled their loans with immediate effect.
The French culture minister Roselyne Bachelot, said of the exhibition: “Our presence could have been exploited as a sign of divergence among Europeans. There was no question of dissociating ourselves from the exhibition. However we would like to add that interactions with the Kremlin Museums took place without any hostility.”
The Kremlin Museums website said European museums “were forced to withdraw them before the time due to the geopolitical situation.”
The original exhibition listing announced that artefacts from the Madrilenian Prado Museum and Royal Armoury museum were due be made available for public viewing, however these have also now been withdrawn.
Adding: “The museum is currently working on making the exhibition happen without European participation”.
Art has become the latest flashpoint for sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine.
Last week, the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg recalled the loan of Raphael’s The Holy Family for a major exhibition of Renaissance art at London’s National Gallery.