In 2021, a large exhibition of Ilya Ripyn’s [Repin in russian] works was organized at the Ateneum in cooperation with the Tretyakov Gallery and the Museum of russian Art. In the exhibition, the artist was said to have been born in Ukraine, but he was presented as a russian artist, suomenkuvalehti.fi reported.
After being contacted by Ukrainian activists, Ateneum has changed Repin’s nationality. Repin’s work is displayed in the museum’s permanent exhibition, in the caption the artist is now presented as Ukrainian.
“For centuries, the russian approach dominated the world, and it has been almost impossible to change it,” says Lukas Stasevskij, who was one of those campaigning for Repin’s identity.
After russia invaded Ukraine, museums around the world have re-evaluated the backgrounds of artists that were considered russians. Many other museums around the world have also started to recognize Ukrainian artists previously considered as russians.