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Masterpieces by Russian celebrated landscape and marine painters returned to Crimea

Crimea's culture minister compared the efforts to return the paintings with the work of "intelligence agents demonstrated in the movies"
Painting by Ivan Aivazovsky  ITAR-TASS/Zurab Dzhavakhadze
Painting by Ivan Aivazovsky
© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Dzhavakhadze

SIMFERROPOL, March 20. /TASS/. Invaluable pieces from a collection of the Simferopol Arts Museum have been returned to Crimea from Ukraine, Crimea's culture minister Arina Novoselskaya told the local parliament on Friday.

"Several days before the historic referendum held in March 2014 we found out that part of the collection of the Simferopol Arts museum had been on display at exhibitions in Melitopol, Odessa and Kiev," the minister said. She compared inconceivable efforts made by friends of the Simferopol museum and patrons of Crimea’s culture, who had managed to ensure the return of the collection to Crimea, with the work of "intelligence agents demonstrated in the movies".

The paintings returned to Crimea include masterpieces by landscape and marine painters Shishkin and Aivazovsky, the culture minister said. "'All the paintings are back in place at the Simferopol Arts Museum now," she added.

Meanwhile , three other museums in Crimea continue efforts to return a collection of the Gold of Scythian Tribes, claiming their rights to the collection in court. In February 2014 the collection numberings more than 2,000 pieces of invaluable items, was taken to an exhibition in Amsterdam. The collection was to have been returned by June 2014. But after Crimea's accession to Russia the Netherlands suspended the return of the collection, pending settlement of juridical disputes between Russia and Ukraine.

The Crimean owners of the collection claim their right to the collection because all the items were found on the territory of Crimea and had been kept at Crimean museums since.