Case over non-return of ancient icons to Russia sent back to prosecutors
MOSCOW, December 11 (RAPSI, Nikita Shiryayev) – Moscow’s Presnensky District Court on Monday ruled to send a case against ex-director of private non-profit Museum of Russian Icons Elena Knyazeva, who allegedly failed to return 16 orthodox icons of XVI-XVIII centuries to Russia, back to prosecutors, the court’s press service told RAPSI.
Knyazeva has been charged with non-return of cultural values to Russia committed by an organized group. She has pleaded not guilty.
According to investigators, the woman has entered into a criminal conspiracy with members of a gang organized by a foreign citizen. On September 30, 2010, she filed a declaration for temporary export of 16 orthodox icons of XVI-XVIII centuries to hold the exhibition “From Russia With Love” in the U. S. In November 2015, the term of temporary export expired but icons have never been submitted to the Moscow Customs.
During investigation, all icons have been returned to Russia.