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Russia plots “evacuation” of Sevastopol museum exhibits to Russia

24 September, 2023 Sunday
17:18

Russia intends to relocate Ukrainian museum exhibits from the temporarily occupied Sevastopol under the pretext of evacuation

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The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations reported the information. 

The memo for emergency responders states that the most important task for civil defense is the evacuation of the population, material and cultural property to safe areas.

"Evacuation is a process that involves planning, preparation, and execution, both in peacetime and during the implementation of civil defense plans. It includes activities such as organizing and conducting evacuations, preparing safe areas for the population, and establishing evacuation authorities and operations," the statement said. 

Russia's theft of Ukrainian cultural property 

On May 22, Russia ordered the removal of the most valuable exhibits from the Berdyansk Art Museum named Isaac Brodsky. 

"They were instructed to take the most valuable exhibits first - paintings by famous artists Aivazovsky, Benois and others," the National Resistance Center said.

On June 27, the Kherson Art Museum identified 50 exhibits stolen by Russians from photographs taken in Simferopol's Central Museum of Tavrida. Among the last identified works was the Forest Song painting by Kherson graphic artist and painter Vladlen Vahanov. 

On July 5, reports indicated that the Russian-appointed administration of Sevastopol was preparing documents for the export of over 300,000 exhibits from the Tauric Chersonesos museum-reserve for alleged restoration. 

"The intended recipient of the funds is currently undisclosed, but it is confirmed that the transfer will occur outside of the peninsula. In late 2014, the funds consisted of approximately 500,000 storage units, encompassing both the main and auxiliary funds, with 300,000 units belonging to the main fund," the statement said. 

In the online collections of the Hermitage and the State Historical Museum of Russia, 110,000 archaeological finds were found that were taken from the territory of modern Ukraine in different historical periods. Among them, at least 5% are gold exhibits, amounting to over 5,000 archaeological finds. Most of the monuments were taken to Russia before the declaration of independence, although there are exceptions. 

On September 22, during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy received back the cultural property stolen by Russian troops from the temporarily occupied territories.

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