Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!

You are addressed by Federal Surveillance Service for Compliance with the Law in Cultural Heritage Protection (Rosokhrankultura), authorized by the Russian Federation Government to search and restitution of stolen and illegally taken out Russian cultural values.

The ninetieth years of the last century were marked by the row of prominent thefts of archival documents. Criminal investigation were carried out on the thefts.

The number of the stolen documents is over 4000, including:
– The Emperor decrees of Alexander I, Nicholas I, Alexander II, Alexander III and Nikolas II to the organization rewarding different persons with orders and decorations (1801-1917 years);
– The Emperor rescripts and commands of Peter I, Catherine I, Peter II, Anna Ivanovna, Elizaveta Petrovna (1709-1762 years), Catherine II and Paul I to the Court department concerning payment, fatigue duty into the Palace, courters appointment (1700-1801 years);
– Peter I letters (1700-1721 years);
– Orders of I.Stalin, G.Jukov, M.Budenniy to the Soviet Army and military districts (1937-1947 years);
– Orders and minutes of the Revolutionary Military Board signed by L.Trockiy (1918-1927 years);
– Service correspondence (incoming and outgoing letters) of I.Stalin concerning both economic and military questions (1932-1953 years).

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Large collection of icons is stolen!

A large collection of icons was stolen on October 9 and 10, from a private Vilnius collection (Lithuania). If you have any information we ask you to contact the editorial staff by +7 (812) 438 1525 and +7 (495) 542 4061.

Published in: on November 10, 2008 at 9:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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Rossvyazokhrankultura is missing 50 000 museum values

The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs published the first results of the check of the state museums which was started in autumn of 2006. According to the results of the check of 80 % of collections 50 000 units of cultural values are absent. Certainly, not all the exhibits were stolen. Experts believe that the major part was lost at transportation or transferred to other museums without proper papers. The reason is poor realization of the registration and the description of the museum values. According to the statistics only the fortieth item has photos in descriptions. The descriptions often consist of one word. In this connection searches of an exhibit in case of its theft and the following art examination in case of its revealing is essentially complicated.

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Published in: on September 19, 2008 at 11:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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Getty Museum bought a marble sarcophagus of the 3d century AD

Sarcophagus with scenes of bacchanalia. Marble. 3d C. AD. The J. Paul Getty Museum

Californian Getty Museum (The J. Paul Getty Museum) has one of the best collections of works of ancient art in the North America. It enlarged its collection with marble sarcophagus with scenes of bacchanalias. Experts attribute the sarcophagus to the 3d century AD. Sum paid for it by the museum is not disclosed.

The sarcophagus is cut out from an integral piece of marble. Its cover is lost. It served as a drinking bowl for horses in the Middle Ages as the lead pipe is fixed into its bottom.

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Published in: on June 28, 2008 at 2:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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Moscow Museums Can Sleep Easily Now

The Moscow government is planning to build the largest museum depository in the city. The depository will be erected on the territory of the former glass factory near Tsaritsino. The gross area of the building will be over 100,000 square meters.

The mayor of the Russian capitol Yuri Luzhkov told reporters that the depository was meant for show pieces from various Moscow-based museums, galleries and private collections. According to Luzhkov, that important project would exclude the possibility of theft or loss of any of the stored items.

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Published in: on September 24, 2007 at 10:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Official letter of russian art-experts

The decision on putting a ban on the expertise services by the museums brought a mixed reaction from the antiquarians and the museum experts themselves. The specialists-members of the National Organization of Art Experts have sent an official letter to Anatoly Shvydkoy.

A self-regulating organization,
«National organization of art experts»

No. 05-10, October 25th, 2006

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Published in: on December 28, 2006 at 2:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts Plundered

The Ural region branch of the Federal Culture and Mass Media Supervision Agency reports that several art castings were stolen from the Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts on March 17. Here is the description of the lost items.

1. Letterpress «The Mourner». (A figure of a knelt woman in a chiton embracing a funeral urn. Decorated along the perimeter with a flower ornament.) Ironworks and mechanical factory in Verkhny Iset. Cast in crude iron between 1814 and 1820 after a model of the early XIX century. 9.7 x 12.6 x 7.7 cm. Inventory No 3249. No marks.

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Published in: on April 21, 2006 at 6:46 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Holy gate stolen

Holy gate. Unknown artist. XVII century. Tempera. Height – 2m, width – 50–60 cm

The Federal Culture and Mass Media Supervision Agency requests help in searching of a rare monument of XVII century Russian icon-painting. According to the Belomor (the White Sea) branch of the Supervision Agency, a unique XVII century Holy gate was stolen from the Assumption church in the town of Belozersk (the Vologda region) on September 25, 2004. Criminals broke into the church at the Karl Marx Street, 43 through a grilled window.

The Holy gate consists of two wooden leafs with icons depicting four Evangelists and the Annunciation. The leaf’s size: height 2 m, width 50–60 cm. The author of the Holy gate is unknown. Here is the detailed description of the gate. The right leaf (icons from top downward): the Holy Virgin sitting on a throne and holding a scroll; evangelist Mathew with a scroll in his hand, above him there is an angel with a book; evangelist Mark with a scroll, above him – an eagle with a book.

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Published in: on December 14, 2005 at 3:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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New methods to protect cultural monuments

Unfortunately, modern security systems fail to prevent plundering of artworks from museums and galleries. This summer a vase has been stolen from the state Hermitage; an exceptional gospel and a painting by an unknown German artist have been taken away from the museum of the Mukhina Academy of Arts; criminals have plundered two Buddha statues from a museum in north-western Chinese province Shaanxi; shoes worn by Judi Garland in a popular American movie «Wizard of Oz» have been stolen from the Grand Rapids museum.

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Published in: on September 28, 2005 at 4:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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Dorothy’s slippers stolen from the Judy Garland museum

Ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in «The Wizard of Oz»

A pair of ruby slippers worn by famous American actress Judy Garland in «The Wizard of Oz» and insured for $1 million has been stolen recently from a Grand Rapids Children’s Discovery Museum, Minnesota, USA. The slippers were stolen on late August 27 or early August 28. Someone entered the exhibition hall through a window and broke into the small display case holding the slippers, which were a major attraction at the museum. The city police do not have any lots of evidence.

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Published in: on August 30, 2005 at 4:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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