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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The prosecution is looking for the culprits in the underreporting of prices on paintings

The scandal around repeatedly under-estimates exported from Russia paintings of famous artists commented in the Ministry of culture. They claim that the charges against them from the state office of public Prosecutor are baseless, and explain why. It seems that the problem is broader than just the dishonesty of certain officials.

Those who had the attitude, aloof

The Minister of culture Vladimir Medinsky on Thursday commented on the publication of the fact that his Agency promotes the export of works of art from Russia.

“As soon as we get back from districts, so just carry out at the Committee meeting on this issue.”

“Check this story with the export of paintings initiated by the culture Ministry and personally Deputy Minister (Vladimir) Aristarkhova, for years, nobody cared, and we learned from the media about the export of paintings, themselves perpetrate this verification in all instances, including the Prosecutor’s office”, – quotes its words of RIA “news”. He noted that already taken appropriate measures and suspended all who had to do with this case. “This is a very bad history with the export of funds the icau (international Confederation of unions of artists),” added the Minister.

Prior to that, the newspaper “Kommersant” reported that the Prosecutor General’s office has revealed serious violations in the work of the Ministry of culture and its Directorate for the Central Federal district. In supervising Department believe that the Ministry creates conditions for illegal export of cultural values abroad, turning a blind eye to the abuses of the experts, lowered hundreds of times the cost of the works of art that contributes to the shortfall in taxes from their sale.

He was the first Deputy culture Minister Vladimir Aristarkhov said Thursday that his office requires the urgent adoption of the law On import and export of cultural values”. “Given the imperfection of the legislative framework governing the export and import of cultural property, the Ministry of culture jointly with the deputies of the State Duma developed a draft Federal law, which, unfortunately, since the end of last year, is located in the State Duma, awaiting the second reading. This law must be taken in the near future, given the changes to it that made the Ministry,” he said.

The Deputy Minister explained that in total there were three cases of export of paintings, in which irregularities have been committed: this is two cases of export paintings Masut Fatkulin and one – Rushaniya a Akhunova. In their statements it was stated that the paintings belong to the appellants and exported for personal use, in fact the picture came from the collection of the Union of artists of the USSR.

According to Aristarkhova, Fatkulina and a Akhunova were the alleged removal of watercolors and paintings of Soviet artists – Sergey Gerasimov, Georgy Nissky, Vladimir Stozharova, Alexander Deineka and other artists. At Sotheby’s auction were sold a few works – the picture of Nyssa went for 1,762 million pounds, Stozharova painting for 410,5 thousand pounds and the picture Gerasimov for 62.5 thousand pounds.

Took a shot from the Ministry

VIEW newspaper interviewed experts believe that the Ministry of culture is not so guilty as others.

First Deputy Chairman of the Duma Committee on culture Elena Drapeko has told the following: “Honestly, for me, was unexpected this publication, that accused the Ministry. Questions for the experts really are. But the problem is not directly the Ministry concerned, namely, experts that lower the prices of artworks”.

Drapeko noted that in Russia is quite stringent legislation regulating the export of art treasures. However, certification of experts, an assessment of their performance is indeed a weak spot. “The assessment, of course, must be done by the Ministry of culture, but as they “create the conditions for the export of values abroad” I don’t know. Wrong certificate? Or not those experts?” “says she.

The MP added that in Russia not so long ago was even introduced criminal liability for a fake of experts for examination. It seemed that the biggest problems in this area should not be, but it turns out that they are.

The Deputy also said that the issue of export values is the absence of internal customs. Things quietly move around the space of the EEU (Eurasian economic Union), and when crossing the border of the EAEU inspect them already is not Russian customs officers, and Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Belarusian, etc. this too can be a problem, since the degree of protection of the same works of art there may already be lower.

Also there is no single database is searched for stolen cultural property in the framework of the EAEU, and in the agreements in the framework of the Union does not say that the export of wanted items is prohibited.

In turn, according to the former Deputy of the state Duma, artist Julia Rybakov, problems with the assessment of artistic values really are. “The lowering of prices can take place,” he told the newspaper VIEW. – But, in my opinion, such things are inevitable, like any crime. I would say that there is a regular, routine of the law against offenders”.

The fishermen added that to solve the problem could be a complication of the examination, additional control over her. However, there is no guarantee that someone will not give a bribe already the one who delivered test examination.

And certainly the artist does not blame in the incident, the Ministry of culture. “I do not see a reason to think that our Ministry of culture deliberately indulge these corrupt experts. I think the Prosecutor’s office is not so engaged”, – he concluded.

The train of scandals

We add that the Ministry of culture recently shaken by scandals.

So, on March 15 were detained Deputy Minister of culture of Russia Grigory Pirumov, the Director of the Department of property management and investment policy Boris Mazo, as well as the Director under the Ministry of FGKU Tsentrrestavratsiya Oleg Ivanov, the head of the company “Baltstroy” Dmitry Sergeyev and the Manager of the company Alexander Kochenov.

The investigation Pirumova called the organizer of the criminal group, which has signed contracts with erroneous information and high cost of services for the execution of restoration works with the purpose of misappropriation of funds.

Director of “Directorate for construction, reconstruction and restoration” Boris Tsagaraev, as well as the project Manager, OOO “Stroykomplekt” and JSC “Baltstroy” Mr Swanbeck were also arrested for two months in Lefortovo court of Moscow. Thus, the number of defendants in cases of embezzlement the Ministry of culture of the Russian Federation has reached eight people. The amount stolen from the Ministry of culture funds amounted to not less than 50 million rubles. VZGLYAD talked in detail about the case.

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