Russia: Family forced to leave gallery for holding ‘illegal tour’

13 September 2018
A family discussing artworks at the state-owned Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow has been caught up in the gallery's crack down on illegal guided tours.
Picture: Tretyakov gallery / Wikimedia Commons


As part of its ongoing crack down on illegal guided tours, the state-owned Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow booted out a family discussing the artworks on 1 September 2018, reported Business FM Russia.

Alla Zelenina, an antiquarian, gallery owner and amateur of Russian painting was visiting the gallery with her teenage daughters and their friends, she said on Facebook. While they were talking about the paintings and artists, a guard demanded she stop the “excursion” because she didn’t have accreditation. 

Despite their protests, the group was escorted to the exit. They were told it is forbidden to talk about paintings unless you have participated in the gallery’s special training course, according to new rules implemented in May 2018.

Tretyakov staff apologised to Zelenina the next day, she said on Facebook.

Other groups have been caught up in the gallery’s hard-line approach to tackling illegal tours. In June 2018, a group of historians at Moscow State University attended an exhibition with some of their students and quietly discussed the artworks. The group was accused of conducting an uncredited tour and asked to leave, reported Meduza. The university department later apologised to the gallery, agreeing that its employees should have obtained accreditation as guest guides.

According to the gallery’s new rules, teachers can join free training sessions on the collections, which will allow them to conduct lessons in the gallery.

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