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Museum director detained after buying stolen icon worth $1 mln

Published on 17 May 2012

Author(s): Gazeta.ru/Darya Zagvozdina, Alexandra Koshkina, edited by Karina Ayvazova

Type:  Blog

The director of one of Moscow's museums has been detained in Moscow with a XVII century icon that was being looked for internationally, reported Interior Ministry reported.

Gazeta.ru found out that the detained man is 64-year old director of the private Russian icon museum Nikolay Zadorozhniy.

Zadorozhniy was detained at Domodedovo airport after he returned from Dusseldorf where he had bought the "Trinity of the Old Testament" icon made in 1690.

Zadorozhnit said that he had bought the icon "in accordance with the Culture ministry." "The governor (of Vologodskaya region – Gazeta.ru) Kuvshinnikov Oleg Alexandrovich asked me to buy it," he said.

Nikolay Zadorozhniy is the director of a private Russian icon museum.  Photo- ITAR-TASS.jpg
Nikolay Zadorozhniy is the director of a private Russian icon museum. Photo: ITAR-TASS

Zadorozhniy added that the icon has been in property of a German citizen Verner Bunthert since 1996.

He bought it from some Russian man. Now Bunhert decided to sell the icon at an auction. As soon as it appeared in the catalogue, Russia's Culture Ministry addressed the Interpol and sent Zadorozhiy to hold talks and buy the icon. Vologda region culture ministry confirmed this information.

"Trinity of the Old Testament" was made by Kirill Ulanov and was stolen from the Vologodsk region museum in 1994. Its "black market" price could be some $1 million, experts say.

(Source: http://en.gazeta.ru/news/2012/05/17/a_4588877.shtml)

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