18:13 08.09.2017

Mariupol Museum employees suspected of illegal transferring of 52 paintings of 18th-19th century to Simferopol in spring 2014

On Thursday, the Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea together with the Main Directorate of the National Police in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol reported suspicion to officials of the leadership of the Mariupol Museum of Local Lore (Donetsk region) in the illegal transfer of 52 paintings of the Museum Fund of Ukraine of artists of the 18th-19th centuries to the Simferopol Art Museum.

The suspicion was announced in the framework of criminal proceedings opened under Part 5 of Article 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (misappropriation, embezzlement of property or possession of it by abuse of official position), the press service of the Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea reported.

It was established that in March 2014, these persons illegally transferred to the Crimean Republican institution "Simferopol Art Museum" in the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea 52 paintings of artists of the 18th-19th centuries: "Moonlit Night" by Ivan Aivazovsky, "The Forest Road" of Ivan Shishkin, "Landscape," and "The Evening" by Alexei Savrasov, "The Swamp" by Isaak Levitan, and others.

The prosecutor's office specified that these works of fine art should have been at the exhibition in Mariupol until May 31, 2014, but it was closed earlier, as the leadership of the Simferopol Art Museum demanded that they be returned to the occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in advance. As a result of such actions by officials of the Mariupol Museum of Local Lore, the property was harmed by the state for a total of more than $1.32 million.

In addition, in the near future, the issue of notification of suspicion to another person in this criminal proceeding will be resolved - a citizen who, in complicity with the above officials, contributed to the commission of the crime, taking the canvases from the Mariupol museum and delivering them to the occupied territory of the Crimean peninsula, where this man is located now.

With regard to the suspects, the issue of choosing a preventive measure is being decided.

As reported, in the summer of 2017 Interpol announced the search for 52 paintings of the Museum Fund of Ukrainian artists of the 18th-19th centuries, which were illegally transferred to the Simferopol Art Museum in March 2014.

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