Handover of Roerich’s paintings to Russia likely by yearend — Serbian authorities

"VAN" (International Desk) :: The handover of several paintings by Nicholas Roerich to Russia from Serbia in exchange for a sheet from the Miroslav Gospel (folio 166), the oldest Serbian manuscript, may take place by the end of this year, the Serbian Ministry of Culture and Mass Communication’s press-service said on Monday after a meeting between Minister Vladan Vukosavljevic and Russian ambassador Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko.

"Minister Vukosavljevic and ambassador Botsan-Kharchenko concurred that the agreement on the handover, which will establish the conditions for the exchange of a sheet from the Miroslav Gospel for Nicholas Roerich’s paintings, will be of great cultural interest to both countries, and it is necessary to lend it a final shape as soon as possible. It was suggested that both parties do their utmost to make the exchange possible by the end of this year," the ministry’s press-service stated.

Vukosavljevic and Botsan-Kharchenko also discussed the opening of Serbia’s cultural center in Moscow, which, the Serbian minister said, "is a priority for developing international cooperation in the field of culture." All issues concerning the center’s inauguration have been coordinated and the corresponding agreement will be signed during one of the visits by senior Russian officials to Serbia, the press-service informed. Also, it was decided to step up the activities of the Forum of Slavic Cultures. Vukosavljevic thanked Russia for its fundamental support for preserving the Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metojia.

The possibility of returning a sheet from the ancient Cyrillic manuscript to Belgrade has been discussed for decades. As for Roerich’s paintings in question, their fate remained unknown from 1941 to March 2017, when TASS discovered them in the storerooms of the National Museum of Serbia.
Credit :: TASS

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