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MOSCOW, September 29. /TASS/. Interpol’s special database currently includes 26 cultural valuables stolen in Russia, while the number stood at 47 last year, head of Interpol’s National Central Bureau in Russia Alexander Prokopchuk told TASS on Tuesday.
"We actively put historical and cultural valuables stolen in Russia on the international wanted list by including them in Interpol’s special database ‘Stolen Works of Art’. Since January 2015, 26 objects were put on the list, while the number stood at 47 last year. They are mostly icons. The number can seem insignificant, but these are only those cultural valuables that comply with strict requirements to be included in the aforementioned database," Prokopchuk said. He added that in July, Interpol’s General Secretariat agreed to grant access to this unique database to the Russian Culture Ministry.
"Together with relevant Russian agencies, we are constantly monitoring Internet websites of auctions that can put up paintings, icons, other valuables and rarities stolen in our country," he added.
The Sotheby’s auction house suspended the sale of Ivan Aivazovsky’s painting "Evening in Cairo" at the request of Interpol’s Russian bureau. According to the bureau, the painting was stolen from a private collection in Moscow in 1997. The issue of returning the icon "Joy of All Who Sorrow" from Italy. The icon is believed to have been stolen from a church in the Kostroma Region in April 2000.