Irina Antonova was unceremoniously let go as head of Moscow's Pushkin Museum, a position she had held since 1961 – for 52 of her 91 years. Antonova, who has steered the famous museum through the Soviet era, perestroika, and now the Putin years, had recently renewed her contract for five years, but seems to have been let go for picking a fight with St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum. For years she has sought to restore the State Museum of New Western Art, destroyed by Stalin in 1948 as the Cold War heated up. The fine works of art from that museum were divvied up between the Pushkin and the Hermitage, and the St. Petersburg museum apparently did not want to give up its share to restore the museum.
Antonova is being replaced by Marina Loshak, curator of the Manege exhibition space, Russia's culture minister, Vladimir Medinsky announced.
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