Two paintings from the successful Paris art exhibition of masterpieces collected by Russian amateur Ivan Morozov will remain in France due to circumstances created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the French Culture Ministry said on Saturday.
One image, currently owned by a Russian oligarch subject to Western sanctions, and another, belonging to a Ukrainian museum, “will remain in France”, the ministry said on Saturday after uncertainty over the return of the images after the exhibition closed. record. exhibition.
A source close to the matter, who asked not to be identified, told AFP that the first image is a self-portrait by Russian artist Pyotr Konchalovsky, owned by Russian oligarch Petr Aven.
Aven, a billionaire financier and banker, is seen as close to President Vladimir Putin and is the target of Western sanctions imposed after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
This painting “will remain in France as long as its owner…remains subject to an asset freeze,” the ministry said in its official statement.
The second painting, a painting by Margarita Morozova by the Russian painter Valentin Serov, belongs to the Museum of Fine Arts in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro and will remain in France “until the situation in the country allows its safe return,” the ministry said.
He emphasized that this was “at the request of the Ukrainian authorities.”
Meanwhile, France is currently assessing the status of a third image owned by a private foundation linked to another Russian oligarch being added to the sanctions list, the ministry said.
The source added to AFP that this image is the property of the Magma foundation linked to Viatcheslav Kantor. He is already subject to UK sanctions for his shareholding in a fertilizer company.
The exhibition was on display at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris from the end of September to April 3.
Now it is being dismantled and the 200 or so images are being returned to museums in Russia, where most of them are kept.