Degas' "Russian Dancers" painting renamed as "Ukrainian Dancers"
The news comes as the newest hysterical manifestation of Russophobia.
In a new round of hysterical Russophobia, London's National Gallery has renamed Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas's painting "Russian dancers" as "Ukranian dancers."
Degas' painting was done in 1899, at a time when the country of Ukraine did not exist.
Following requests from Ukrainians on social media, the gallery said that the title of the French impressionist's turn-of-the-century piece, which is presently not on show, had been altered. It is a pastel painting of dancing troupes that the artist was captivated to watch perform in Paris late in his life.
A National Gallery spokesperson said “The title of this painting has been an ongoing point of discussion for many years and is covered in scholarly literature; however there has been increased focus on it over the past month due to the current situation so therefore we felt it was an appropriate moment to update the painting’s title to better reflect the subject of the painting."
Mariia Kashchenko, the Ukrainian-born founder and director of Art Unit, says Russian art became an "umbrella term" but that things should now be made "right."
Criticism extended so far as to accuse galleries and museums in London of "lazy misinterpretation of the region as one endless Russia."
The National Gallery told The Guardian that research into paintings in its collection was ongoing, and that information on its works was updated as needed and as new material became available.
The spokesperson added that the gallery is open to “receiving feedback from the public about specific works and regularly respond to comments shared by our audiences, including those made on social media."
Last month, the Russian President said that attempts to "erase" Russian culture in response to the Ukraine conflict are akin to Nazi book burnings. The Russian President compared efforts by Western elites to weaponize "cancel culture" against famous Russian composers and writers in response to the country's military operation in Ukraine to Nazi burning books.
Following Moscow's military operation in Ukraine, some organizations took action against Russian-linked works. The Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra in Wales has dropped Pyotr Tchaikovsky's famed 1812 Overture, which commemorates Russia's defense against Napoleon, from its schedule. One of the directors, Linda Robinson, felt the overture was improper at the time since its elements are "military-themed and come with the sound of a barrage of cannon fire."
Similarly, the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan, Italy, reportedly suspended a course on famed Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky to avoid conflicts. Following a public outcry, the institution reversed its decision and stated that the course will remain on the curriculum.
Following a seven-year impasse over Kiev's failure to fulfill the provisions of the Minsk agreements and Russia's ultimate recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, Moscow moved soldiers into Ukraine in late February.