The Morozov Collection caught up in the turmoil of war in Ukraine

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While the flagship exhibition of the Louis Vuitton Foundation ended this week, the Ministry of Culture announced on Saturday that two paintings from the Morozov collection would remain in Paris. One belongs to a sanctioned Russian oligarch, the other is owned by a Ukrainian museum and will be temporarily kept in France for security reasons.

The war in Ukraine ended up catching up morozov collectionexposed until last week in Paris: two paintings, including that of the Russian oligarch Petr Aven, subject to a freeze of his assets, will remain in France instead of returning to their country.

This is the first time that this vast collection, made up of Van Gogh, Cézanne, Matisse, as well as works by Russian painters such as Malevich and Repin, has left Russia for exhibition abroad.

Although the exhibition ended last Sunday and was dismantled this week, the Ministry of Culture announced to AFP on Saturday, April 9, that two paintings would remain in France.

For the former, the measure will last as long as “its owner, a Russian oligarch, remains subject to an asset-freezing measure,” the ministry said, without naming the owner.

According to a source familiar with the matter, it is Petr Aven, who is close to Vladimir Putin, who appears on the list of Russian personalities subject to Western sanctions. The painting in question is a self-portrait by Piotr Konchalovski, dating from 1911.

The billionaire, who announced his withdrawal from the LetterOne investment fund in mid-March, is a major art collector who has lent several of his works in the past, notably to New York’s MoMA and London’s Royal Academy.

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The second painting, a portrait of Margarita Morozova by the painter Serov, will remain in France “at the request of the Ukrainian authorities. It belongs to the Dnipro Museum of Fine Arts. [ou Dnipropetrovsk]in eastern Ukraine, and could be damaged.

A third work “in the power of a private foundation, linked to another oligarch who has just been added to the list of personalities subject to freezing measures, is being examined by the State services,” the ministry added.

These are the private foundation Magma and the oligarch Vyacheslav Kantor, whose painting by the painter Serov depicting a relative of the Morozov family is also part of the collection, we learned from a source close to the archive.

Asked by AFP, the Louis Vuitton Foundation said it would “respect the government’s decision.”

successful exhibition

Some 200 works by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, Bonnard, Monet and Manet are on display from September 22 at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, west of Paris, along with Russian painters such as Golovine, Gontcharova, Korovin, Mashkov , Malevich , Melnikov, Repin, Serov…

These masterpieces were brought together by the two brothers Mikhaïl and Ivan Morozov, industrialists with a passion for modern art at the beginning of the 19th and XXme centuries.

Most of the works are due to return to their original institutions, primarily the Pushkin Museum and the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, as well as the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg.

Even within the framework of European sanctions, EU member states can repeal the ban on the transfer and export of works of art to Russia when these works have been loaned in the framework of an official cooperative cultural relationship with Russia, he said. the ministry.

Questioned several times by AFP, the Louis Vuitton foundation did not want to give more details about the mode of transport for security reasons in particular.

The exhibition, extended until April 3, when it was due to end on February 22, brought together more than a million visitors and could exceed in attendance that of another great Russian collector, Sergei Chtchoukine, who had attracted 1.29 million visitors in 2016-2017 to the private foundation. A record for an art exhibition in France.

Final attendance figures for the Morozov exhibition will be known early next week.

with AFP

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