Finland will return seized works of art to Russia

Russian Culture Minister Olga Lyubimova attends a meeting with President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia January 18, 2022. Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Kremlin via REUTERS

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April 8 (Reuters) – Finland will return Russian artwork seized by Finnish customs to Russia, the country’s foreign ministry said on Friday.

Finnish customs had stopped three art shipments worth around 42 million euros ($46 million) to check whether they were classified as luxury goods and therefore subject to economic sanctions . Read more

Exceptions for cultural objects in the European Union’s sanctioning rules will come into force on April 9, after which the Foreign Ministry will grant customs officials permission to release the works of art, the ministry said.

The paintings, statues and antiquities had been loaned by Russian museums in Italy and Japan.

Russian Culture Minister Olga Lyubimova said earlier that the paintings would return to Russia this weekend.

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Reporting by Reuters and Essi Lehto staff in Helsinki; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Hugh Lawson

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Christopher S. Washington