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  Tuesday, December 10, 2019
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The issue of the Bremen art collection was not solved at a meeting of competent ministers of Russia and Germany
The issue of the Bremen art collection that was moved from Germany to the Soviet Union at the end of the Second World War was not solved at a meeting of competent ministers of Russia and Germany, Russian Minister of Culture and Mass Communications Alexander Sokolov has said. He said on Ekho Moskvy radio on Thursday “it would be a strong exaggeration to assert that this problem is close to resolution”. Sokolov explained that the Russian-German consultations were held in Tomsk at the end of April. He said that he held talks with Germany’s new Culture Minister Bernd Neuman, “but a sensation and unexpected things have not happened at our meeting”. Sokolov added that “bilateral working groups are discussing the legal side of this difficult affair” at present. The Bremen collection comprises 362 drawings and two paintings, including by Rembrandt, Rubens, Corot, Manet, Degas, Van Dyke, Van Gogh and Duhrer. The collection from the Bremen museum was hidden in one of German castles in 1945 and found by Soviet soldiers. Captain Viktor Baldin saved the works that he later turned over to Moscow’s architecture museum. The art trophy was kept in the Hermitage museum since 1991. Three years ago, the Russian Culture Ministry proposed returning the art works to the Kunsthalle gallery to which they belonged before the end of the war, but this initiative met an ambivalent response in society.
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