MUSEUM OF RUSSIAN ICONS 203 Union Street . Clinton . Massachusetts 01510 978.598.5000 www.museumofrussianicons.org Monday, March 21, 4 P.M., 2011 Russian-issued “Force Majeure” Questionable. Icons Stay at Museum of Russian Icons for Now. Clinton, Massachusetts— Today, after several hours of negotiations with Museum of Russian Icons Museum Founder Gordon B. Lankton, CEO Kent Russell and representatives from the Russian Federation Embassy in Washington D.C. and Consulate in N.Y.C, an unnamed representative from the U.S. State Department is “of the opinion” the criteria for executing the Minister of Culture’s “force majeure” has not been sufficiently met. He also claimed the icons from the Andrey Rublev are immune from seizure in the U.S.A. On Thursday, March 17, Russia’s Minister of Culture issued a “force majeure” ordering the immediate return of 37 paintings and artifacts currently on loan to the Museum of Russian Icons Treasures from Moscow exhibition that were scheduled to remain on view until July 25, 2011. The order pertained ONLY to the icons in the Treasures from Moscow exhibition. The Museum of Russian Icons permanent collection of 450+ icons is NOT affected by the order. Andrey Rublev Museum Curator Oxana Smirnova, who had come to Clinton to supervise the dismantling of the exhibition, will return to Russia—without the icons in tow—as soon as arrangements can be made. Museum CEO Kent Russell, said, “The successful resolution of this situation has national implications for all museums. We’re hoping for a quick, definitive outcome beneficial to all parties.” Museum of Russian Icons Founder Gordon B. Lankton said of the situation, “This leaves an undetermined window of opportunity for our members and friends to see this rare exhibition while it is still in the United States.” The Andrey Rublev Museum, located in the historic Spaso-Andronikov Monastery, is home to one of the most prominent collections of icons in Russia and is named after the legendary icon painter, Andrey Rublev. The Museum of Russian Icons was founded in 2006 as a nonprofit educational institution by Massachusetts industrialist, Gordon B. Lankton. The collection includes more than 450 Russian icons, the largest collection of its kind in North America, and one of the largest private collections outside Russia. The collection spans six centuries, and includes important historical paintings dating from the earliest periods of icon “writing” to the present.
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