Fine Arts and International Relations: Russian Museum Diplomacy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This chapter analyzes The Russian Museum’s first European satellite, established in Málaga, Spain, in 2015, from the framework of museum diplomacy. Museums are institutions of power and taking them abroad extends their effects beyond a nation-state. The Colección del Museo Ruso functions both as a tool of Russian cultural statecraft, promoting Russian culture abroad and building connections with foreign audiences, as well as an instrument of city branding, contributing to Málaga’s brand as Ciudad de Museos, the City of Museums. The project engages multiple social fields and diverse actors from museum experts and businesspeople to city authorities and diplomats, motivated by different objectives. It illustrates that art museums have the potential to facilitate relations between elites across national borders. The case study also highlights that states do not necessarily need to initiate plans to benefit from them. The nature of museum diplomacy does not necessarily imply a carefully crafted plan designed by the government, but more freely and spontaneously forming relationships that carry powerful effects. While having a Russian museum was the initiative of the mayor of Málaga, it was the Russian ambassador to Spain who suggested the Russian Museum for this purpose.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRussia’s Cultural Statecraft
EditorsTuomas Forsberg, Sirke Mäkinen
Place of PublicationLondon and New York
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781003141785
ISBN (Print)9780367694357
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2021
Publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NameStudies in Contemporary Russia


  • Museum diplomacy
  • Art in IR

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3


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