Russian Art Approved for UK Display

Moscow allows paintings to travel after diplomatic spat, fears of seizure
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2008 1:40 PM CST
The Hermitage in St. Petersburg is one of the institutions that houses works that will be allowed to be shipped to the UK.   ((c) Sitomon)
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(Newser) – The Royal Academy in London will scramble to open a major exhibition of Russian-owned art after Russian officials finally granted permission to send the works to the UK, the Times of London reports. The show faced cancellation over Russian concerns that the works would be subject to seizure, a dispute seen as fallout from the Alexander Litvinenko affair.

Some of the paintings—including works by Matisse, Renoir and Gauguin—have been claimed by heirs of collectors who owned them before the Bolshevik Revolution, but Britain's culture secretary fast-tracked legislation to forbid legal holds on the paintings. While the show might go on, relations between the countries remain at a low dating to Russia’s refusal to extradite the man wanted by Britain in Litvinenko's 2006 murder.