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News and Announcements - Romanov Ikon Auctioned

Russian museum collects funds for buying at Sotheby's an icon from the Romanov's collection

Moscow, March 18, Interfax - The administration of the museum Tsarskoye Selo made an appeal to Sothebey's to take away from selling by auction an icon that used to belong to the Tsar's family and return it to Russia.

There has not been any reaction from Sothebey's yet. Meanwhile the official website of the museum informs that the fundraising company is in progress and the staff is almost sure that it will be possible to return the rarity, reports Noviye Izvestia daily.

The icon is made in a form of a casting diptych, decorated with enamel, engraving, blackening and gold. It was given to the Tsar's family as a gift by the citizens of Tsarskoye Selo on occasion of a birth of grand duchess Olga Nikolayevna. As a relic it had been kept in Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, but after the revolution of 1917 it was taken abroad and settled down in the private collection of a millionaire Armand Hammer.

Besides, Sothebey's actively promotes another two icons dating back to the 19th century that also belonged to Romanov's family. One of them is painted in the name of miraculous rescue of Nicholas II during a terrorist attack against him.

As the newspaper reports the case with Tsar's icons is much more complicated compare to the recent incident with Russian medals. In that case, according to the Russian law, it wasn't possible to sell these medals. Sothebey's fulfilled this demand of Russia. Meanwhile the icons were sold out by the Soviet Government and were purchased according to the law regulations.

In this case it is only possible to ask for "priority purchase", writes the newspaper. There are few cases of such "uncompetitive barging" by some Russians: the collection of Faberge eggs, that was bought by Victor Vekselberg from Sothebey's without any auction or the collection of Rostropovich-Vishnevskaya, that was taken out from selling by auction for the sake of the only Russian buyer Alisher Usmanov.


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