Main museums around the globe are quietly recategorizing works from Russian to Ukrainian

Major museums around the world are quietly recategorizing works from Russian to Ukrainian

Written by Tim Lister, CNN

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has quietly reclassified some of its paintings. Two artists, once labeled Russian, are now categorized as Ukrainian and a painting by the French Impressionist Edgar Degas has been renamed from “Russian Dancer” to “Dancer in Ukrainian Dress.”

For one woman in Kyiv, Ukraine, these changes are a vindication of sorts. Oksana Semenik, a journalist and historian, has been running a months-long campaign to persuade institutions in the United States to relabel the historical works of art she believes are wrongly presented as Russian.

At the Met, they include work by Ilya Repin and Arkhip Kuindzhi, artists whose mother-tongue was Ukrainian and who depicted many Ukrainian scenes, even if the region was in their day part of the Russian empire.

Repin, a renowned 19th century painter who was born in what is now Ukraine, has been relabeled on the Met’s catalog as “Ukrainian, born Russian Empire” with the start of each…