The State Hermitage Museum is opening an outpost in Washington, D.C.The Art Newspaper understands.The institution, which last year scrapped plans for a branch at 725 5th Avenue in New York
, has settled on space just down the street from the White House in the historic Old Post Office Pavilion, which is now a Trump International Hotel.
Ethics experts are now raising questions. The museum, which is funded by the Russian state, will be installed in a building administered by a US government agency. Asked about any potential conflicts of interest, John Barron
, a press officer for the Hermitage, said: "We will build a big, beautiful museum, okay? Nobody builds museums better than we do, believe me."
The outpost's director will be Brad Butin, an expert on Soviet Socialist Realism and Constructivism who is relatively unknown in the US. Since 2011, he has been chief curator of the collection belonging to Russia's Federal Security Service, according to the Hermitage.
: This is an April Fool’s Day story