Russian Ministry of Culture Replaces Tretyakov Gallery General Director Zelfira Tregulova

The Russian Ministry of Culture has replaced the Tretyakov Gallery‘s general director after demanding the museum change its exhibits to be in line with the country’s “spiritual and moral values.”

According to an announcement from the Culture Ministry, Elena Pronicheva has been appointed to the position, replacing Zelfira Tregulova, due to “the expiration of her employment contract.”

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The announcement also said “Pronicheva will have to preserve the best experience of saving the museum’s funds and continue the development of the State Tretyakov Gallery and its branches, including within the framework of the cultural, educational and museum complexes being created.”

The news of the announcement was first reported by Interfax.

The Tretyakov Gallery was founded by the merchant Pavel Tretyakov in 1856 and has become one of the most important art museums in Russia. Tregulova had been general director of the gallery since 2015 but found out she lost her job from press reports.

“Do you want to hear what I think about my dismissal, which I learned from the media? Nothing! Everything, thank you,” she told the National State News on the phone before hanging up.

The sudden end to Tregulova’s employment occured after a man complained to the government ministry about several works on display at the gallery with “signs of a destructive ideology.” This complaint prompted a letter to Tregulova demanding the museum change its exhibits to be in line with the country’s “spiritual and moral values.” The letter was signed by Department of Museums and Foreign Relations deputy director Natalia Chechel.

Prior to the Tretyakov Gallery, Tregulova held senior positions at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, the State Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve “Moscow Kremlin,” and the State Museum and Exhibition Center ROSIZO.

Pronicheva has been the director of Russia’s Polytechnic Museum since December 2020 and previously served as the executive director of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow from 2013. According to Forbes Russia, Pronicheva is also the daughter of a former deputy head of the Federal Security Service (FSB), Vladimir Pronichev.


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