Germans want to take away the pictures of their compatriots from Simferopol art gallery

The directorate of the German museum of the painter Suermondt-Ludwig in Aachen offers to exchange 5 works of the German painter, which are in the funds of the Simferopol art gallery, to other works. The paintings, referred, were given by the art gallery in Aachen to Simferopol after the Second World War as a compensation for the terrible losses suffered by the museum during the war years. At that time, while retreat, cultural values were taken out of the Crimea on a large scale.

The German side proposed to exchange five paintings from Aachen, which are in Simferopol, for the paintings of the same era, equivalent in their artistic and financial value. But what exactly is being offered is not known yet; the director of the Simferopol art gallery Larisa Kudryashova saw the offered paintings only in the pictures.

«I can only say that we were consciously choosing the paintings which are emotionally significant for the dwellers of Aachen, but not the most valuable and expensive paintings,» the director of the museum in Aachen Peter Van Den Brink said.

Moreover, Germans do not stop on five paintings. The Suermondt-Ludwig Museum in Aachen requires that Simferopol should recognize that the owner of the rest of the collection is the German institution of culture. And their paintings, which are already in Simferopol, they want to rent out, as the status of the paintings, given as a compensation for the losses suffered by the museum during the Word War the Second, is unequivocal. To tell the truth, it is considered, that the compensation is not equal, as in the prewar times the museum of Simferopol had one of the richest collection of the Soviet Union, and the Nazi have completely impoverished the gallery.

The Suermondt-Ludwig Museum suggested to sign the the contract with the Simferopol art gallery about the fact that the paintings are rented out to Ukraine for 50 years, appealing that from the point of view of international law «the remuneration» is not legal and the owner of the paintings still remains Aachnen. Moreover, Ukraine must recognize the German Museum’s right of ownership of the paintings.

The Director of the museum in Aachnen acknowledged that as soon as the contract validity will be through, theoretically, Germany will be able to request the paintings back.

«But by the time the situation in the world will be different, and, by that time, Ukraine will be a part of the unified Europe… » Van Den Brink concluded.

Ольга Бузыка


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