Art Law Report Header-1

President Putin Vows to Keep Chabad Library in Russia

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on February 20, 2013 at 4:51 AM

Backing off some of the more belligerent comments made recently by the Foreign Ministry, Russian President Vladimir Putin has nonetheless signalled that Russia has no plans to return the Chabad library to comply with a 2010 judgment or the more recent sanctions order. Both Reuters and the Art Newspaper reported that Putin proposed to store the Schneerson library in the newly built Jewish Museum in Moscow. Putin stated "The Schneerson Collection belongs to Russia. . . .If we now open a Pandora's box and start satisfying similar requests, there will be no end to these claims. Maybe one day we will be able to do this, but now we are absolutely not ready for this. This is impossible," Putin said." That statement simply begs the question of what the Pandora's box is that Putin fears. Russia has, for example, refused for years even to discuss cultural artifacts taken to the Soviet Union as the German army retreated in World War II. The more conciliatory tone is a marked change from recent threats to try to find the United States in default in retalation for the recent sanctions order, although it does little to address the fundamental dispute.

Read More

Topics: Moscow Jewish Museum, Restitution, Schneerson library, Foreign Sovereign Immunities, Vladimir Putin, Chabad

Sullivan logo

About the Blog

The Art Law Report provides timely updates and commentary on legal issues in the museum and visual arts communities. It is authored by Nicholas M. O'Donnell, partner in our Art & Museum Law Practice.

The material on this site is for general information only and is not legal advice. No liability is accepted for any loss or damage which may result from reliance on it. Always consult a qualified lawyer about a specific legal problem.

Meet the Editor

Subscribe to Blog

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all