Russia wants its Titian back

The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg has demanded the restitution of its Titian masterpiece, currently on loan to Palazzo Reale.

Titian, Young Woman with Feathered Hat, 1534-1536. St. Petersburg, Hermitage Museum.

The war with Russia is shifting to a cultural ground. In a letter received on Monday evening, the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg demanded the return of several masterpieces loaned to Italy, including a masterpiece by Titian currently on loan to Palazzo Reale for the recently inaugurated exhibition “Tiziano e l’immagine della donna nel Cinquecento Veneziano,” reports the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

Without explicitly referring to the war in Ukraine, the Russian museum is asking for the paintings to be returned by the end of March, reveal the Italian newspaper. According to La Repubblica, discussions are underway between the municipality and the Ministry of Culture on how to proceed.

A painful hit for Palazzo Reale where Titian’s masterpiece, “Young woman with a feathered hat,” painted between 1534 and 1536, is one of the central pieces of the exhibition.

The office of the Councillor for Culture of the City of Milan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This is a developing story. Check back here for updates.

Gianmaria Biancuzzi is executive editor of Milano Art Guide.