The Gallerie degli Uffizi of Florence and Moscow’s Pushkin Museum signed a cooperation agreement at the Italian Embassy in Moscow. The first activity foreseen in the Agreement deals with the shipment to the Russian capital of some of Raphael’s most famous masterpieces, some of which have never been brought out of Italy. The Agreement was signed by the directors of the Gallerie degli Uffizi and Pushkin Museum.
The agreement stipulates the creation of a working group between the two museums to strengthen the dialogue and the two institutions’ knowledge of their reciprocal cultures, through shared experiences and common future strategies. The signature of the agreement was an opportunity to present the exhibition “Raphael and the Poetry of a Face” (“Raffaello e la Poesia del Volto”), which is programmed to open in exactly two months at the Pushkin Museum and run until 11 December. The choice of Raphael was not made by chance also because, besides and beyond his international fame, he is an artist who had a great influence on Russian culture, particularly on 19th century literature up to modern times.
The exceptional scientific level of the event has been emphasised during a press conference held at the Italian Embassy in Moscow and the remarkability of the event is that over the next five years this one will be the most important Raphael exhibition in the world. The quality of the operation was also highlighted by the Director of the Uffizi Museum the german Eike Schmidt who said that “this new scientific cooperation will be used as a model for future joint initiatives between the two museums”. He said: “We signed this Agreement with the intention to revive the model of exchange and dialogue between artists that characterized Florence at the beginning of the Cinquecento and to jointly pursue a new road to research and cooperation.”
The Director of the Pushkin Museum Marina Loshak has emphasized the potential beneficial influence of Raphael’s artistic message in a time like the present one. A time quite far away from Raphael’s principles of balance and inner harmony . She pointed out the Russian public is going to benefit of those universal symbols of beauty. The Director of the Uffizi Galleries, Schmidt focused on the values of intercultural dialogue, placing the model in Florence early sixteenth century when artists, writers and scientists had built a very fertile ground for mutual enrichment and exchange of artistic influences.
The agreement provides for the creation of a joint working group to enhance knowledge and the sharing of initiatives and future strategies in a framework for development of their assets. The Museums will exchange information and publications on the planning of their activities’ exhibition, will facilitate loans and exchanges and will exchange observations on each other’s experience of museum management, choosing the themes to be explored through conferences, seminars and exhibitions.
Russian oil company Rosneft will sponsor the important event that Marina Loshak hopes will bring to Russia up to “ten masterpieces” by the Urbino-born master, including the Self-Portrait (which will be displayed in a preview at the Italian Embassy in Moscow on 9 September) and the Portrait of Agnolo Doni, which are respectively kept at the Uffizi and at the Palatine Gallery of Palazzo Pitti. The exhibition represents a “milestone” in the cultural diplomacy between Italy and the Russian Federation and represents the ideal follow-up of the programme of exhibitions dedicated to the great masters of Italian art like Caravaggio, Tiziano and Piero della Francesca. On programme for September is also the performance by Milan’s Teatro La Scala.