Press Release 1 - British Museum - Group Assignment
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Press Release 1 - British Museum - Group Assignment
The British Museum
Great Russell Street
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7323 8000/8299
Fax: +44 (0)20 7323 8616 Email:
1st October 2009
Most valuable Russian painting to be displayed in the British Museum
The British Museum has received the ancient Byzantine painting of St George from Moscow’s
State Historical Museum today. The ‘Black George’, which has an estimated value of £ 850,000,
will be displayed within the exhibition ‘Roman and Byzantine icons’ until July 2010.
Discovered in 1959 by a resident of the Russian village Pskov, the masterpiece was donated to
the State Historical Museum in Moscow. The icon is part of a collection of five items, depicting
several orthodox saints. Found in various places at different times, the State Historical Museum
succeeded in bringing them all together and lends them individually to museums worldwide
for limited periods.
Yekatarina Odintsova, curator of the State Historical Museum said: “We are glad to partner with
the British Museum in the forthcoming exhibition. The uniqueness of the “Black George” is based
on the fact that the horse is painted black rather than the traditional white.” Luisa Denuell, the
curator of the British Museum, adds: “We are very honoured to collaborate with the Historical
State Museum and to present this Byzantine artefact to our visitors.”
When it was found, the panel was being used as a shutter of a barn window. Subsequent
cleaning by conservators revealed that it had been over-painted several times. Below an
eighteenth-century folk painting they uncovered a seventeenth-century layer and finally this
outstanding fourteenth-century icon, which was immediately recognized as an early masterpiece
of Russian painting.
Notes for editors
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• The exhibition
The exhibition is in joint collaboration with the State Historical Museum. For further
information visit www.britishmuseum.org/roman-byzantine-icons
• Admission and opening times
‘Roman and Byzantine Icons’ will be hosted in room 35 of the British Museum.
Admission is free to all visitors. The museum is open daily from 10.00 to 17.30.
• ‘Black George’
For further information on the painting please visit www.britishmuseum.org/roman-
For the picture of the icon check www.britishmuseum.org/roman-byzantine-
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated book, edited by Dr. Luisa Denuell and
Dr. Yekaterina Odintsova and published by British Museum Press. It will be available
in the museum’s gift shop.
• Further information
For the list of other exhibitions, sponsors and partnering agencies please contact
Yushua A. Shuaib.
Yushua A. Shuaib
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7323 8000/8201
Mobile: +44 (0)77 6551 1461
MA PR Team
Jayne Boachie, Chief Security Officer British Museum
Filippo Ciampini, Director British Museum
Luisa Elena Denuell, Curator British Museum
Yekaterina Odintsova, Curator State Historical Museum
Yushua A. Shuaib, Press Office British Museum
Roxana Tintea, Detective Chief Superintendent Metropolitan Police
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