Ashmolean to share exhibitions with
Russian counterpart as part of Oxford twinning
Matt Oliver, Local government reporter
VISITORS to the Ashmolean Museum could soon be looking at
items loaned from Oxford's twin city in Russia after an agreement
to exchange exhibitions.
Perm Art Museum
Staff from the Perm State Art Gallery met bosses at the museum
to discuss ways they can work together, after more than 20
years of links between their cities.
They said this could start with exchanging exhibitions and
lead to the sharing of expertise and other resources.
Ashmolean director Dr Alexander Sturgis said: "The Perm
gallery is regarded as the most remarkable Ural art museum
in Russia with a collection which includes among other things
a remarkable collection of painted wooden sculptures, and
the Ashmolean has the UKs most significant collection of
"We are keen to explore future areas for international
collaboration and this could take a range of different forms."
Perm, the most easterly city in Europe, is situated nine hundred
miles east of Moscow, between the Kama River and the Urals
It has been officially twinned with Oxford since 1995 and
the wider Perm region roughly the size of England is also
twinned with Oxfordshire.
As well as an internationally famous ballet school, the city's
gallery has a collection of religious wooden sculptures that
is recognised as one of the most impressive in the world.
Previous exchanges have included politicians and journalists,
school pupils, dancers, teachers and artists, but it is believed
the agreement between the gallery and Ashmolean would be the
first of its kind between the cities.
Perm State Art Gallery director Yulia Tavrizyan said: "We
feel honoured to have visited Oxford and the Ashmolean to
discuss possible future collaboration.
"We would like to start with a small exhibition exchange
and then, as things progress, to be able to share more of
the wonderful offerings of our different museums with the
people of our twinned cities."
Tatiana Grigoreva, head of international relations at Perm
City Council added: "We are also celebrating the 100th
anniversary of the founding of Perm University.
"A link with the Ashmolean would be a wonderful way to
celebrate the bonds between our two cities, which began with
joint working between the two universities."
A visit last month to the Ashmolean by the Perm officials
also revealed the museum held a bust of Sergei Diaghilev,
founder of the influential Ballets Russes who lived in Perm
until he was 16.
Every year, the city hosts the Diaghilev Festival, an international
arts event. While in Oxford, Mr Tavrizyan and Ms Grigoreva
also visited the Story Museum, Modern Art Oxford, and Waddesdon
Oxford City Council leader Bob Price said: "The Perm-Oxford
relationship is an extremely strong one and over the long-term
we hope to extend it to include lots of museums and institutions,
such as the botanic gardens."