Some of Russia’s most important cultural treasures will soon be available for local Israeli audiences to view, the first step in a new partnership between the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the State Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Chief Curator and Executive Director of the Tel Aviv Museum Susan Landau and Dr. Mikhail Fiotrvsky, director of the Hermitage Museum, announced on Wednesday morning that the cultural partnership would begin with an unprecedented exchange of masterpieces between the two institutions. Thanks to the Hermitage Museum Foundation Israel, which was founded last year to foster collaboration between the two cultural institutions, the short-term trade of artworks will launch in June 2015.

Hermitage will send to Tel Aviv a collection of some of the best-loved works from Henri Matisse, including “Young Woman in a Blue Blouse” and “Game of Bowls.” In turn, Tel Aviv will send its Archipenko Collection – sculptures by pioneering Russian artist Alexander Archipenko, saved by German Jewish collector Erich Goritz and donated to the Tel Aviv Museum at the request of its first director, Karl Schwarz – to St. Petersburg.