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Swedish culture minister hopes problem of Chagall exhibition to be settled

September 05, 2015, 1:15 UTC+3 STOCKHOLM
Minister Kuhnke said she had asked officials at her ministry to meet with Millesgarden representatives shortly to consider possible ways of resolving the problem
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STOCKHOLM, September 4. /TASS/. Swedish Minister of Culture Alice Bah Kuhnke hopes the problem around the scheduled exhibition of works by Marc Chagall and his contemporaries from St Petersburg's Russian Museum could be settled in a manner acceptable for both sides.

She said it on Friday in a programme of cultural news of a local televisions channel.

The exhibition was to be opened on September 12 in Stockholm's Millesgarden Museum but the Russian Culture Ministry recommended to cancel it, since Russia had not received sufficient guarantees for the safekeeping and return of the works to St Petersburg.

Dr. Vladimir Gusev, the director of the Russian Museum said a decision had been taken to call the exhibition off because of the apprehensions the paintings might be arrested by way of enforcing the ruling of the Hague Arbitration Court on a lawsuit filed by shareholders of the defunct oil corporation YUKOS.

Minister Kuhnke said she had asked officials at her ministry to meet with Millesgarden representatives shortly to consider possible ways of resolving the problem.

She said she had written a letter to the Russian Culture Minister, Vladimir Medinsky, explaining for how the Swedish system of safekeeping and return of museum values worked but a recommendation to the Russian museum had been issued earlier.

She said the situation was saddening because it would be nice to let arts speak in their own language but this turned out to be impossible.

Last July, the court in the Hague passed a ruling, under which Russia was to pay out almost $ 50 billion to the companies that had been affiliated with the YUKOS shareholders. Russia objected to the resolution strongly.

In June 2015, attempts were made to use the Russian properties abroad by way of enforcement of the ruling, especially in France and Belgium, where the bank accounts of the Russian embassies were arrested.

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