George Costakis’s apartment on Prospekt Vernadadskogo in southern Moscow was an Aladdin’s cave of avant-garde art, full of works by Kazimir Malevich, Marc Chagall, Wassily Kandinsky and many more — all bought on the salary of a humble embassy employee.
Costakis spent 35 years at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow, building up a stunning collection of 20th century art, most of which he eventually donated to the State Tretyakov Gallery when he left the Soviet Union in 1977.
In honour of the centenary of his birth, the Tretyakov Gallery is now holding an exhibition entitled Georgy Costakis: departure from the USSR… devoted to Costakis and his collection.
Costakis bought some for around $100 — works that today would costs millions
Costakis was born in Moscow, where he lived for the first 64 years of his