Russia approves UK art exhibition

BBC News, 10 January 2008
Pablo Picasso's Dryad
The exhibition includes works by Picasso and Van Gogh

An exhibition of major artworks in London has been given the final go-ahead by the Russian authorities.

A spokesman said "maximum possible assurances" had been given that the works would not be seized over ownership disputes.

The show will now take place at the Royal Academy of Arts from 26 January to 18 April

A spokesman for the Academy said they were "delighted" that negotiations had reached a satisfactory conclusion.

Some of the 120 paintings included in the exhibition were taken from private collections after Russia's 1917 revolution.

It was thought some of them could be seized to settle private legal claims.

New legislation

New UK legislation was implemented last month meaning that descendants of the original owners cannot bring forward their claims on British soil.

The "immunity from seizure" legislation was due to be implemented in February, but the date was brought forward by Culture Secretary James Purnell after Russian authorities threatened to pull the Royal Academy exhibition.

Both the British and Russian governments have denied the clash related to the fallout from the murder of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in London last year, which prompted strained relations between the two countries.

From Russia: French and Russian Master Paintings has attracted more than 200,000 visitors in Dusseldorf, Germany, where it has been showing since September.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7180714.stm

 
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