Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky has served as the Director of the State Hermitage Museum since 1992. Dr. Piotrovsky graduated with honors from the Oriental Faculty of Leningrad State University, specializing in Arabic Studies in 1967 He also attended Cairo University from 1965 to 1966. He worked and did further studies at the Leningrad branch Institute for Oriental Studies from 1967 until 1991 before joining the Hermitage staff. In his various capacities, Dr. Piotrovsky has taken part in archeological excavations in the Caucasus, Central Asia and Yemen. He has authored more than 200 scholarly works, and is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Arts.
Mr. Kabiri is the President of the M.T Abraham Foundation and developed its cultural activities together with international museums and institutions. Mr. Kabiri is a major shareholder and the CEO of Max Steiner Internet Industries a leading Israeli SEO company. He co-directed the publication Selling Russia’s Treasures – dealing with how the Soviets traded away their nation’s art, including works of art drawn from the collections of the Hermitage Museum, As of early 2013, with the support and collaboration of the Lissitzky Committee in Novosibirsk, and the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Mr. Kabiri is editing and managing the publication of El Lissitzky’s “Jewish Period” catalogue raisonné.
Mr. Daniel Kroll, Chairman
Mr. Kroll, an art collector and philanthropist, is the president of the Kroll Family Trust which has been actively engaged in promoting cultural activities and publications worldwide. Among his activities, Mr. Kroll is managing the publication “Dynastic Rule” by Geraldine Norman and El Lissitzky’s Jewish Period by Alexander Kantsedikas. Over the last decade, Mr. Kroll has rapidly built a successful entrepreneurial career, currently a Co-Founder at Seeya Ventures an innovative project which reinvents real world and digital communications as we know it. Mr. Kroll is the director of the Hermitage Museum Foundation Israel.
Mr. Iljine studied mathematics at the Sorbonne and specialized in Public Relations. As general manager for the world for Lufthansa Airlines, he also elaborated and implemented sponsorship programs in culture, especially in the arts. He acted as Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation representative for corporate development, sponsorship, and PR in Europe and the Near East. Iljine played a key role in creating and implementing such museum projects as Guggenheim Bilbao, Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin with Deutsche Bank, Guggenheim-Hermitage in Las Vegas, and in the development of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. He curated architectural competitions for designing museum in Lithuania and Mexico, and organized several major Russian exhibitions at the Guggenheim snf three contemporary Russian art shows in Miami. He worked jointly with the French architect Jean Nouvel on the design of the Museum of Modern Art in Baku. He acted as Vice-President for International Development at GCAM (Global Cultural Asset Management Group), involving issues related to museum construction, collection building, management programming, and art investment. He acts as Consultant on international cooperation and contemporary culture in Russia to several European cultural institutions. He took an active part in the organization of numerous exhibitions of Russian art worldwide. Iljine forced the Ministry of Culture of France to hand over 6 works by the Russian artist Pavel Filonov, stolen in the late 1970s from the State Russian Museum in Leningrad and illegally taken out of the country. For three consecutive years he organized the annual exhibition of Russian contemporary art at Miami Basel Art. Author, editor and co-publisher of several works, he was awarded the Order of Friendship, signed by President Vladimir Putin. He is also the founding member of the Board of Trustees of Kandinsky Prize, and member of the Paris Society of Emperor Alexander III for developing cultural and political ties between Russia and France.
Karen Sanig is a Partner and Head of Art Law at Mishcon de Reya solicitors, London. She founded Art Law at the firm in 1995. Karen is a leading individual in the sphere of Art and Cultural property Law and a pioneer in art law. Karen represents a vast array of interesting clients including artists, collectors, museums, galleries, governments, and dealers. She advises on a wide range of art-related legal issues, from dispute to art ownership and authenticity, restitution of cultural heritage property, the setting up of art investment vehicles, or the sale and purchase of artworks. Her vast experience of the eccentricities of the art market has provided her with a unique viewpoint from which to advise on the due diligence required in art transactions. Karen lectures frequently on art law related topics and is often quoted in the media. She is honorary legal counsel for the London Jewish Museum of Art; she sits on the advisory panel for the London Business School Annual Art Investment Conference and is a guest lecturer on the Christie’s Art Business Course.
Mr. Hausmann specializes in Business Finance and Banking Law, having founded his own law firm in London. He serves on the Board or as Counsel to various companies including Delta Galil Industries Ltd, UK subsidiary of El Al Israel Airlines, various Israeli Institutions, ICTS International N.V. He is the Governor of the Hebrew University, Orion Foundation, and others; Trustee and Adviser to numerous Charities raising funds for Israeli Institutions, including Ezra le Marpeh, JNF/KKL, and Council for Beautiful Israel. He is also a Member of the European Jewish Parliament. He was Founder and first National Chairman of the Universities Committee for Soviet Jewry; and organized the first public activities in England, on behalf of Soviet Jewry. Former National Chairman of the Inter-University Jewish Federation, Political Officer of the World Union of Jewish Students, and member of Israeli delegation to World Youth Assembly, United Nations New York.
Mr. Tamir has been acting as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the M.T. Abraham Foundation since 2004. Mr. Tamir’s main business activities in the 1970s and 1980s were in fur merchandising, grading, valuation and attending auctions as well as managing commodities businesses including but not limited to looking after their finances and supporting in making financial decisions, developing strategies for overseas financing, assessment and valuation etc. amongst other interests, in the past 10 years Mr Tamir has broadened his activities into the real estate spectrum for which he is active to this day. Influenced by his father, the late M.T Abraham, Mr. Tamir was raised to appreciate and to be devoted to the arts and so he is passing his enthusiasm to the next generation to come.
Mr. Matthew Drutt, Consigliere
Matthew Drutt is an American editor, writer, and curator who specializes in modern and contemporary art. Based in New York, he currently works with the Beyeler Foundation in Switzerland, the Hermitage Museum Foundation, New York; the Hermitage Museum Foundation Israel; the M.T. Abraham Foundation, Tel Aviv; El Lissitzky Foundation, Eindhoven; and Russian American Foundation, New York, consulting on exhibitions, publications, and collections. He is formerly Chief Curator of The Menil Collection, Houston (2001 – 2006) and Senior Curator, Guggenheim Museum, New York (1993 – 2001). In 2006, the French Government awarded him the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 2003, his exhibition Kazimir Malevich: Suprematism won Best Monographic Exhibition Organized Nationally from the International Association of Art Critics.
Ms. Ivgenia Naiman, Contemporary Art Specialist & Adviser
Ivgenia came to Gurr Johns from Philips de Pury & Company London, where she was Head of Russian Contemporary Art and Specialist in Western Contemporary Art. Before this she was Relationship Manager for the Private Client Group at Sotheby’s London, worked in Education and Business Development at the Saatchi Gallery, London, and was a gallery teacher in the Education Department at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London.