Finland to Return Detained Artworks to Russia

Finland’s Foreign Ministry will provide authorization for the exhibits from Russia’s museum collections that were previously detained by Finnish Customs to be returned to Russia.

According to the Finnish foreign ministry’s statement published on its website, they will issue a permit for transports stopped in Finland last week that contain works of art owned by Russian museums returned to Russia from Italy and Japan. 

On Thursday, April 7, the European Union (EU) amended its regulation on sanctions against Russia on the paragraph on works of art. 

The amendment now makes it possible to grant an exceptional permit for transport between museums. 

Changes in the regulation on sanctions on works of art will be published later in the Official Journal of the EU and will take effect on Saturday, April 9. 

In a separate statement, Finnish Customs will immediately reassess the situation in terms of the change after an exceptional permit is granted. 

“If it is no longer necessary to seize the works of art as evidence for preliminary investigation, Customs will cancel the seizures of the goods, and releasing the works of art would therefore be possible due to the cancellation,” Finnish Customs said. 

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