The case of the theft of exhibits from the Hermitage on behalf of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev was transferred to the General Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee at the Prosecutor’s Office / ICPO / RF. This was announced today by the official representative of the UPC of the Russian Federation Vladimir Markin.

The case of the theft of exhibits from the Hermitage on behalf of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev was transferred to the General Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee at the Prosecutor’s Office / ICPO / RF. This was announced today by ITAR-TASS by the official representative of the UPC of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Markin.

“In connection with the instructions of the President of the Russian Federation, the Main Investigation Department of the UPC of the Russian Federation accepted the criminal case initiated on July 31, 2006, on the fact of theft of museum exhibits from the State Hermitage Museum of Culture,” said V.Markin.

He recalled that "in 2006 it was established that museum objects worth a total of more than 143 million rubles had been stolen from the State Hermitage Museum."In March 2007, Nikolai Zavadsky was sentenced for the theft of 77 museum items to five years in prison. During the investigation, 34 exhibits were returned.

“At present, the whereabouts of 191 stolen museum objects have not been established. The Investigation Committee at the Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation appeals to anyone who has any information about the stolen exhibits of the State Hermitage Museum with a request to help in their search,” said V. Markin.

The list of stolen museum exhibits is available on the website of the Investigative Committee at the Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation in the "Actual" section.

On January 12 of this year, D. Medvedev heard a report by the Minister of Culture, Alexander Avdeev, on an examination of the preservation of cultural property in the country. In particular, the minister said that the presence of 86 million units of storage was checked, 86 thousand units of them were not presented in stock. In 9 thousand cases of loss of storage items, criminal cases were instituted. The head of state advised, together with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Emergency Situations, to create a special system for the preservation of cultural property.

A large-scale check on the preservation of cultural property in the collections of Russian museums began soon after the discovery of more than two hundred exhibits of the Hermitage during a planned inspection in the summer of 2006.A few days later, detectives detained Nikolai Zavadsky, the wife of the late museum curator Larisa Zavadskaya. According to investigators, the exhibits for a long time were removed from the repositories of the Fund of precious metals and stones.

During the investigation, 24 stolen items were returned, of which 9 were voluntarily issued by collectors of Moscow and St. Petersburg. The last investigation of the case was reported in March 2007. A source close to the investigative-operational group reported to ITAR-TASS at that time, "the investigation still has several versions on which the work does not stop, and in this connection, new criminal case. " In particular, the version of the involvement in the embezzlement of the rest of the collection "not only of the Zavadskys' family and already established persons involved, but also of other persons" was being worked out. One of the areas was the development of the antique market, both internal and external.

Last year, the vice-premier Alexander Zhukov, who headed the government commission coordinating a comprehensive check on the preservation of cultural property, reported that by March 2009 the Ministry of Culture, with the participation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, should form a single electronic database on museum objects, the theft of which was discovered as a result of inspections,and by June of this year, on the basis of proposals from the Union of Museums of Russia, to submit a draft state program for the preservation of the Museum Fund of the Russian Federation.

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