National Gallery in London renames Degas’ Russian Dancers as Ukrainian Dancers

Ukrainian Dancers, Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas. Photograph: © The National Gallery, London

The National Gallery in London has altered the title of Edgar Degas’ drawing Russian Dancers to Ukrainian Dancers, prompting calls for other cultural institutions to rethink “lazy” interpretations or mislabelling of Ukrainian art and heritage.

After calls by Ukrainians on social media, the gallery said it had changed the title of the French impressionist’s turn-of-the-20th-century work, which is currently not on display. It is a pastel depicting troupes of dancers, which the artist was fascinated to see performing in Paris late in his life.

A spokesperson for the National Gallery said: “The title of this painting has been an ongoing point of discussion for many years and is covered in scholarly literature; however, there has been increased focus on it over the past month due to the current situation so therefore we felt it was an appropriate moment to update the painting’s title to better reflect the subject of the painting.”

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