MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. President and former director of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Irina Antonova died aged 98, the museum’s director Marina Loshak informed TASS on Tuesday.
"Irina Alexandrovna [Antonova] died," she said. Loshak informed that Antonova had passed away on Monday night.
According to the medical certificate, the cause of the death was the coronavirus infection coupled with a chronic cardiovascular condition.
Irina Antonova was born on March 20, 1922 in Moscow. She began working as a researcher at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in 1945. In 1961, she was appointed director of the museum. Under her in 1974, the museum’s exhibitions were reorganized. The same year, the museum saw the first display of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci in the USSR history. Numerous important exhibitions were arranged by Antonova for the museum since then.
In April 2013, Irina Antonova was appointed chief curator of Russian state museums. In July of the same year, she stepped down as director of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, taking on the position of the museum’s president. She received numerous Soviet and Russian state awards, as well as honors from Italy, France, Japan and many other accolades.