State Tretyakov Gallery General Director Zelfira Tregulova speaks during the vernissage of the exhibition ‘On the way to the temple’ at the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia, in October. File Photo by Yuri Kochetkov/EPA-EFE
Feb. 9 (UPI) — Russia’s Culture Ministry on Thursday announced that it had replaced Zelfira Tregulova, the head of the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, after criticism that the museum under her direction lacked “moral values.”
“Elena Pronicheva, who has headed the Polytechnic Museum since 2020, has been appointed the new General Director of the State Tretyakov Gallery,” reads the statement from Russia’s Culture Ministry.
“She will replace Zelfira Tregulova, who is leaving the position of the general director of the museum due to the expiration of her employment contract.”
Tregulova had led the art museum since 2015 and Russian officials praised her for the “many large-scale exhibitions” and educational programs that the institution held under her leadership.
In a separate statement on Telegram, Russia’s Culture Ministry noted that Tregulova also took part in the working group preparing proposals for amending Russia’s constitution.
“A creative and educational center, workshops for children, teenagers and adults have also been opened, educational online projects have been launched and more,” the statement reads.
However, the news came after The Moscow Times obtained a copy of a letter sent by the ministry to the Tretyakov Gallery demanding a report “on the issue of bringing the content of permanent exhibitions and exhibitions in the State Tretyakov Gallery in line with spiritual and moral values.”
The Culture Ministry gave Tregulova until Monday to respond to a complaint filed by a man named Sergei Shadrin, who said that the museum was not complying with a decree signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in November.
Russia’s state news agency TASS prepared a biography on Pronicheva, Tregulova’s replacement, which noted that she was born in the Ukrainian city of Melitopol.
Last April, Ukraine said that Russian forces had stormed the Melitopol Museum of Local History and stole rare Scythian gold artifacts.
“This is one of the largest and most expensive collections in Ukraine, and today we don’t know where they took it, whether it was hidden or stolen,” Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov said at the time.
“We don’t know about its fate, but of course this gold has been stolen from our community, and I hope that we will be able to get it back.”