Irene Kukota was born in Moscow, studied ancient and modern languages and history of art. She also holds a degree from the University of Oxford, where she completed her M.St. focussing on Syria and Byzantium in Late Antiquity in 2001. Between 2005 – 2008 she held responsibilities as the secretary of the Oxford Byzantine Society, taught Russian and Russian philosophy at Oxford and later acted as consultant for the film the Shroud of Turin: Material Evidence aired on BBC2 on 22nd March 2008. Between 2007 and 2010 Ms Kukota also worked as cataloguer, translator and consultant for the Icons and Works of Russian Art Departments at Christie’s. Ms Kukota also received an MA in Fine and Decorative Arts from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in 2010 ( her dissertation was about Walter Savage Landor as collector) and is author of numerous articles in both English and Russian. She lectured at Sotheby’s Institute of Art between 2009 -2013 and has been collaborating with curators at the Royal Collection (Russian art) and the Kremlin Museums since 2014.
Between 2012 – 2016 she worked as London- based representative for the Art Newspaper Russia and acted as a journalist, researcher, lecturer, conference and events manager.