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The Hermitage refutes information about the seizure of archival materials about the "Stalin's sales"

On social networks, on April 13, 2017, scandalous material swept: on the page of one of the employees of the State Hermitage a note appeared that the museum allegedly complained that for many years the Hermitage had illegally published documents belonging to the “secret” about the so-called "Stalin's sales"). After 16 hours, the Hermitage published an official refutation. We understand what's what.So, on Thursday morning, on the Facebook page of the social network, which is owned by Alexey Larionov, it was reported that about two weeks ago, a commission from the Ministry of Culture, which included "mainly representatives of another department", worked at the State Hermitage Museum. As Larionov writes, “according to the results of the inspection, the Hermitage has been complained that the museum has illegally published documents related to the number of“ secret ”for many years. We are talking about a series of collections on the materials of the Hermitage archive, devoted, for the most part, to museum sales of the 1920s and 1930s. If someone doesn’t know, these are eight thick volumes with acts of handing out exhibits at Antiques, correspondence with government departments, materials on organizing auctions abroad and negotiations on the sale of the museum masterpieces to Mellon and Gulbenkian. ”Venus in front of the mirrorTician Vechelli1555, 124.5 × 105.5 cm
  • Photo: ArtRussianBooks.com
According to the colta.ru publication, the page belongs to the Hermitage’s Western European Art Department senior researcher, Alexey Larionov, keeper of Dutch, Flemish and German drawings. Based on the note, “by decision of the commission, they (now printed volumes of the Archival Documents of the Hermitage - ed.) Are now banned for sale, removed from the book stalls (they were sold only in the Hermitage), they were not ordered to refer to, and the next one prepared for printing, the volume with documents for 1932-1933 is forbidden to be published. Moreover, the corresponding archival files themselves (among which there are many unpublished ones) were removed from the museum, put in boxes, sealed and taken out ”. “As far as I know,” continues Larionov, “similar special operations took place, also, in some Moscow museums, in particular, in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. Pushkin and the Historical Museum. There, they say, it came to cutting and removing individual pages from the stitched cases. ”Portrait of Pope Innocent XDiego Velázquez1650, 49.2 × 41.3 cmK the end of the working day on the official page of the Hermitage on the social network Facebook appeared the message "The State Hermitage informs". It says, in particular: “There are no official prohibitions on the publication of archival materials stored in the State Hermitage, just as there is no decision of a certain“ commission ”mentioned by a social network user about the removal of books from the series“ Hermitage History Pages ”. .Turk (Man in Oriental costume) Rembrandt Harmens van Rein, 1635, 98.5 × 74.5 cm “Currently, the State Hermitage Museum is working to improve the archival storage system of all documents in accordance with current legislation. This work is carried out in line with the state policy and decisions of the President of the Russian Federation in this area. ” This is the first official reaction of the museum. There are no references to the decisions of the President of Russia and any regulatory documents in this message. Meanwhile, the public on social networks continues to actively discuss not so much the fact of a possible ban on selling books from the Hermitage History Pages series, but the fate of masterpieces of art from the collections of Soviet museums sold in the post-revolutionary years abroad.St. George and the Dragon Rafael Santi1506, 28.5 × 21.5 cm “... At night, funnels drove up to the entrance of the Hermitage, exactly the same as those in which people were taken away. Those who saw him, covered the usual feeling of stupor and terror. But this time the black car did not come for the people, but for ... pictures. In the morning, instead of the missing canvases, signs appeared: “The painting was taken for photographing” or “The painting on the restoration”. No one has seen more of these masterpieces - the invaluable cultural treasures disappeared from Russia forever. ” Read the details in our material “Stalin sales. Masterpieces that left the Hermitage and not only. ”Madonna AlbaRafael Santi1511, 94.5 × 94.5 cm “Madonna Alba” by Raphael, like the other pictures shown here, were sold to Andrew Mallon, an American multimillionaire businessman, 49th US Treasury. The amount of the transaction for the work of Raphael in 1931 amounted to $ 1,166,400. Even more information about the replenishment of the Mallon collection of works from the Hermitage, which formed the core of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, created by him, see the separate article dedicated to him. In the Hermitage Theater, a solemn ceremony was held dedicated to the Patrons' Day. They comment in different ways. Some suggest that there was no commission at all, since neither its composition nor the dates of the proposed work in the Hermitage are unknown. Other readers believe that there is no point in secreting what the world has known for a long time (books can be found on the Internet if you wish). They have posted a photo of the decision of the Interdepartmental Commission for the Protection of State Secrets - but does this have an order to extend the secrecy of documents for another 30 years related to the Hermitage? Most likely no.Joseph, accusing Potiphar's wife Rembrandt Harmens van Rein, 1655, 105.7 × 97.8 cm. Was there a commission? So far nothing has been said about this to the general public. In conclusion, let us quote Larionov’s words from his posting on the Facebook page: “You can be amazed as many times as you want: what’s the point of re-classifying facts that have long become well-known? What is the use of withdrawing from sale books that have been sold for years, sold out in libraries, in part, even posted on the Internet? (...) One way or another, the mere fact of an administrative ban on the sale of published books and the confiscation of documents in state archives, it seems to me, has no precedent in our recent history. And, in my opinion, he deserves public attention. ”Crucifixion with the Madonna, John the Baptist, St. Jerome, Mary MagdalenePietro Perugino 1480th, 134 × 165 cm Arth: read us in Telegram and look on Instagram
Title illustration: Sandro Botticelli. "The Adoration of the Magi." 1482. Prepared on materials from open sources on the Internet. Illustrations to the material - paintings sold abroad from the collections of Soviet museums in the years of the rise of Soviet power.