News About Soviet-Era Art Sell-Offs

The Art Newspaper reports: ‘A curator at the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg has claimed that government authorities have seized archives and books at the institution’s shops related to the Soviets’ sale of art nationalised after the Bolshevik Revolution to Western collectors, sparking fears of an attempt to rewrite the country’s history. The museum, however, has denied an official ban of the material, saying that work is being done to “improve” how the archives are stored. Among the masterpieces sold off were Raphael’s Alba Madonna, purchased by Andrew Mellon, the American banker and industrialist for nearly $1.2 million, a record sum at the time.’

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