The Museum was opened in 1912 as a public educational institution affiliated with Moscow University. It was reorganised in 1923 and has ever since focused on Western European art. In the 1920s a great number of paintings were transferred to the Museum from nationalised collections and several museums in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Due to the advancing German troops, the Museum's collections were evacuated to Novosibirsk and Solikamksk in 1941. After the Second World War the curators of the Pushkin Museum started to organise exhibitions on paintings taken from Germany to Russia by the Soviet Trophy Brigades. A large number of these artworks are still held in the Museum. The first exhibition of Trophy Art took place in 1955 when masterpieces from the Dresden Picture Gallery, due to be returned to East Germany, were exhibited. The exhibition series continued with the showing of the Treasures of Troy, discovered by the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann in 1873, the Eberswalde Gold Treasure, a collection of sculptures stored in Berlin's Zoo and Friedrichshain Flak towers during the war, and displaced paintings by Rembrandt, Matisse, Van Gogh, Francisco de Goya and Renoir. A digital collection of these and other collections is accessible at http://www.museum.ru/gmii/defengl.htm.
The Museum's archival records are relevant for looted art research as they contain complete lists of the looted property held in the Museum. Copies of these lists are available at the research libraries within the museum, at the Russian State Military Archive in Moscow and at the Germanic Museum in Nuremberg. A catalogue of displaced artworks held in the Pushkin Museum has been digitised by the Internet Project 'Restitutsiya'.
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< http://www.museum.ru/gmii/>, accessed 12 March 2004.