Russia returns objects to Spain as exhibitions close in Moscow

Spain made the demands for the returns after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The Museo del Prado, which lent a painting to the exhibition in Moscow. Image via Wikimedia (Public Domain)
The Museo del Prado, which lent a painting to the exhibition in Moscow. Image via Wikimedia (Public Domain)

A number of objects have returned to Spain from Russia, including pieces of armour and a portrait of Emperor Charles V. The objects were intended to be displayed at an exhibition at the Kremlin Museums in Moscow, but were sent back to Spain in early March after the conflict escalated. It is believed that British and French museums have made similar demands for returns.

We absolutely condemn the aggression, we have canceled [participation] in the Moscow exhibition and we have asked for the return of the pieces

Miquel Iceta, Minister for Culture and Sports, in a statement on Spanish television (Translated from Spanish)

In a statement to Spanish newsplatform El País, the Prado museum said that the objects were already back in the country, but would need some time to adjust to the environment before being displayed again.

The objects include an oil painting by Juan Pantoja as well as some suits of imperial armor. They were originally sent to Russia from the Royal Palace Armory of Madrid and the Prado Museum for an exhibition in Moscow called “The Duel: from Trial by Combat to a Noble Crime“.

In a statement, the Prado emphasised the ‘absolute collaboration and fluid communication’ of the Russian officials in faciliatating the return of the material, which traveled back to Spain via Finland. Miquel Iceta recognised the difficulty of such a request for returns however, stating that “we must distinguish between collaboration with the Russian Government and respect for Russian culture, although sometimes it is difficult to maintain balance” [Translated from Spanish]. He was, however, keen to emphasise that the Ministry supported artists within Russia who opposed the invasion.

Read the full story at El País [In Spanish].

This article was originally published in English. Texts in other languages are AI-translated. To change language: go to the main menu above.