Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli's masterpiece the Madonna and Child has gone on show at the Primorye State Art Gallery in Russia's eastern port city of Vladivostok until 6 November, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
The art treasure is being exhibited as part of Vladivostok's fifth Eastern Economic Forum's cultural programme. The tempera on panel work is one of Botticelli's early paintings (1467) and shows the Madonna holding the infant Jesus with a balcony in the background.
"The exhibition of a masterpiece by Botticelli on the occasion of Italy's first participation in the Forum is a unique event, of great symbolic value," said Italy's ambassador Pasquale Terracciano.
"It is part of our plans to bring Italian culture to even the most distant regions, making our art more accessible to the many lovers of Italy throughout the Russian Federation."
The painting will then be on display at the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg from 17 November for the eighth Cultural Forum, according to the statement. The picture will be exhibited at the Hermitage until 16 February.
Blind and visually impaired people will have access to the painting, thanks to a tactile copy of the painting alongside the original, together with a special audio guide, the statement said.
The initiative was organised by Italy's embassy in Moscow, together with the Uffizi Galleries, the Primorye State Art Gallery and the State Hermitage Museum, with the support of Sberbank, the main Russian banking group.