Finland seizes works of art from Russian museums at the border

Finland seizes works of art from Russian museums at the border

Customs has confiscated works of art traveling to Russia from the Vaalimaa border crossing.

Sami RakshitThe head of the control department of the National Board of Customs said that the value of the works was approximately EUR 42 million, according to insurance estimates.

According to Customs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the goods are subject to sanctions imposed by the European Union against Russia after the occupation of Ukraine.

Rakshit said the shipments include paintings and sculptures, are part of the freight traffic between Russian and European museums, and are in temporary storage in the metropolitan area.

He refused to name museums that may contain objects currently in customs possession when Russian media reported that objects had been confiscated from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg at the Finnish border.

"Valuables are now in safe storage," said Rakshit. "They are from several Russian museums, at the moment I don’t remember the names of the museums."

When printed, Rakshit admitted that the name of the Hermitage "sounded familiar".

Customs has launched an investigation into suspected gross violations, and there are currently ten people under investigation.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Rakshit also said about 22 luxury yachts had been seized. 21 were still in stock and one had been handed over to collection visitors.

Source: The Nordic Page


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