|Russian President Vladimir Putin refuses to return disputed Jewish archive to United States|
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) visits the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow on February 19, 2013, with the Chairman of the Federation of Russia's Jewish Organizations Alexander Boroda (R) and Russia's chief rabbi, Berel Lazar (L), attending. AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI POOL / ALEXEY DRUZHININ.
MOSCOW (AFP).- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday he refused to return a historic but disputed Jewish archive to the United States because doing so would "open a Pandora's box".
He spoke after a US judge slapped a daily fine of $50,000 (37,500 euros) on Moscow last month for its failure to comply with a 2010 order to return the sacred texts.
Putin's international cultural cooperation representative Mikhail Shvydko said at the time that the ruling "doomed" the chances of the archive ever being sent to the United States.
Speaking at a Moscow meeting on inter-ethnic issues, Putin called the ruling "unjust" and proposed instead to display the collection in Moscow.
"If we open a Pandora's box today and begin to grant such claims, then there won't be an end to such requests and it is unclear what they will lead to," he said in televised remarks.
"Maybe one day we will be able to do so but in my opinion, right now we are simply absolutely not ready for it. It is not possible."
He suggested the texts be displayed at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre, which opened in November and is one of the world's largest Jewish museums.
The archive -- referred to in Russia as the Schneersohn Library in honour of its original owner Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneersohn -- was split up and partially nationalised by the Soviet Union in 1918.
The other part was taken out of Russia and ended up in Germany where it was seized by Soviet troops at the end of World War II in 1945.
Most of the 12,000 texts and 50,000 documents it contains have since been transferred to the Russian military archive and state library.
Officials there said last month that they had no intention of parting with a collection gathered in the 18th century and regarded with veneration by Hasidic Jews who populated eastern Europe and have since largely settled in New York.
The dispute has frozen cultural exchange programmes between the two old Cold War rivals and as a result, touring exhibitions of such great museums as the Hermitage and the Tretyakov have bypassed the United States.
The US State Department has argued that decisions of the kind issued by the District Court complicated both the case and bilateral ties.
Since Putin's return to the Kremlin for a third term in May, Russia and the United States have been at odds over a growing number of issues.
© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse
February 21, 2013
Between war and peace: Museum of Luxembourg in Paris presents works by Marc Chagall
The Art Institute honors 100-year relationship between Picasso and Chicago with landmark exhibition
Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills presents Richard Prince's Cowboy paintings
Israel Antiquities Authority: An ancient industrial installation was revealed beneath the asphalt in Yafo
First major exhibition on Pre-Raphaelite Art and Design in United States on view at National Gallery of Art
Russian President Vladimir Putin refuses to return disputed Jewish archive to United States
Exhibition at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston features restored silver and bronze pieces
Exhibition of new paintings by genre-busting painter Doug Argue opens at Edelman Arts
Norton presents Legacy, a comprehensive overview of iconic art collected by Emily Fisher Landau
Walters Art Museum appoints Julia Marciari-Alexander as new Executive Director
Unique artwork of limited-edition labels for wine bottles designed by Michelangelo Pistoletto
Pattern Recognition: Group exhibition at Ana Cristea Gallery brings together four Contemporary artists
Painterly Pasted Pictures curated by E.A. Carmean, Jr. opens at FreedmanArt
After death threats, Swedish artist to paint Mohammed
Margaret Bowland's second New York solo exhibition of paintings opens at Driscoll Babcock
Man arrested in New York Dali heist
Pope's goldsmith hopes ring will be spared destruction
National Pinball Museum hits 'tilt'
Tiancheng International announces its inaugural sale of fine Chinese paintings in Spring 2013
British Spitfire hunter vows to continue Myanmar dig
Govt. Auction to offer fine jewelry, luxury handbags, timepieces Feb. 24
Contemporary sculpture, ceramics, fashion, glass, furniture, and more offer a new twist to age-old imagery
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Jackson Pollock work "Number 19, 1948" sells for record $58.4 million at Christie's
2.- Exhibition of nude photography around 1900 on view at Berlin's Photography Museum
3.- Belize City officials say ancient thirty-meter high Mayan pyramid razed for road fill
4.- Hidden drawings from Nazi concentration camp on display at Jewish Museum in Berlin
5.- Records fall at Sotheby's contemporary art auction; Barnett Newman painting sells for $43.84M
6.- Death mask of Napoleon to be auctioned at Bonhams' Book, Map and Manuscript sale
7.- New Yorkers unnerved by neighbor's voyeuristic photos on view at Julie Saul Gallery
8.- Rare Vincent Van Gogh sketchbook copies up for unprecedented sale at museum store and online
9.- Leonardo DiCaprio environmental art auction at Christie's New York tops $38 million
10.- Hong Kong cries fowl as giant rubber duck by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman deflates
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|