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Wassily Kandinsky's painting "Abstraction" created in 1913 was returned to Russia
Four pictures by Russian abstractionists, including this one, were stolen from a Russian collector some years ago, Novye Izvestia reports. The criminal case on the abuse of confidence and illegal export of works of art was launched when the owner of the pictures reported on the theft to the police. According to the collector, he gave these paintings to expert examination and did not see them since them. He did not give permission to take them abroad, either. The paintings were found in Switzerland in 2002. The Russian side required legal assistance and arrest on the paintings. After that, Wassily Kandinsky's "Abstraction" (1913), Ivan Klyun's "Fantasy (1920), Mikhail Menkov's "Clock" (1915) and an unknown artist's work have been in Switzerland under arrest. In March 2004 Russia asked Switzerland to take the pictures back to Russia as material evidence. On April 29, 2004 the federal justice department of Switzerland agreed to satisfy the request of the Russian side. The four paintings were found in Switzerland after photographs and acts of expert examinations of the missing pictures were discovered in the attaché case of Russian businessmen Gennady Ogolenko in Geneva's airport. The police searched his apartment in Geneva and found Kasimir Malevich's painting "Two Peasant Women on Road" worth over $100,000. The Moscow Prosecutor's Office carried out the investigation. It turned out that Mr. Ogolenko promised to help the Russian collector find the four missing paintings in Switzerland. Malevich's picture was the payment for his services. The decision to extradite Gennady Ogolenko was made in July 2003. But his lawyers appealed against the court's decision and he remains in Switzerland. However, the stolen pictures came back to Russia (Switzerland returned "Two Peasant Women on Road" in 2003). Wassily Kandinsky is the most expensive Russian painter. His picture "Fugue" was sold at Sotheby's in 1990 for $20.9 million. This is the absolute record of the Russian art. Kasimir Malevich's "Suprematist Composition" holds the second place. It was sold in 2000 for $17.1 million. Three Kandinsky's works "The Last Judgment" ($5.2 million), "Mountain Village" ($5 million) and "Autumn Landscape" ($4 million) rank among ten most expensive Russian paintings. Kandinsky's pictures seldom appear on the art market, therefore, they are so expensive
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