IF HERMITAGE EXHIBIT IN FRANCE IS ARRESTED, HOST COUNTRY WILL BE TO BLAME, RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES WARN

The Russian Culture Ministry says it will hold France responsible in case the artwork brought in for display from St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum is placed under arrest.

It is the host country that shall guarantee the security of guest exhibits and their safe return home, ministry officials point out. According to them, this particular Hermitage exhibition has been invited over by an official Parisian agency, so the French Association of Russian Bondholders should forward whatever financial claims it might have precisely to that agency rather than to Russia. And besides, the post-Soviet Russia has assumed the debts of the USSR whereas this latter did not assume any of the Russian Empire’s debts, they recall.

On Wednesday, French holders of the defaulted Czarist bonds circulated a communique, announcing their intention to arrest the Hermitage items currently on display at Les Invalides. They say they will file a formal claim with a Paris court Thursday, demanding that it issue a warrant for the arrest of the guest exhibit. A bailiff has already visited the exhibition venue and drawn up a list of all the Hermitage works on view so as to prevent their hasty return home.

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Published in: on July 10, 2003 at 12:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

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