Recently, businessman Sergei Shmakov donated more than 70 icons to the Russian Orthodox Church. The icons, that were removed from Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution and World War II, took him on a search around the globe. The Russian cultural minister Alexander Avdeyev accompanied Shmakov on some of his trips. Last November, a law supported by Avdeyev passed that “called for the return of religious property seized by the state after the revolution to the Church.” Although, the law focuses on real estate museums are worried that the Church will look to claim icons in their museums. Already, one icon loaned to a church built by Shmakov was extended. Further, it was announced by Avdeyev that the icon will be moved and placed in Toropets monastery (where it was taken) for at least one year. However, the icon will still remain the property of the federal museum. Shmakov also paid for a climate controlled capsule that would protect the icon, which has not been shown to the public in many years due to the fragile condition.
< Reported by The Art Newspaper>