The icon presented to Sergey Lavrov is the property of Ukraine
KIEV – Ukraine has confirmed the belonging of the icon, which in the second decade of December in Bosnia and Herzegovina was presented to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
«The fact of the presence of the seal of the regional commission on the icon indicates that this icon is the property of the state of Ukraine», – Svetlana Fomenko, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy, said in the press.
She explained, according to the website of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, that the seal on the icon belongs to the Odessa Regional Commission for the Protection of Monuments of Material Culture and Nature, which was created in 1926 at the Odessa Historical and Archaeological Museum and worked from 1926 to 1930.
«The commission compiled lists of cultural monuments in all districts within the limits of its responsibility, took them into account and under state protection», – noted the Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.
At the same time, according to the Ukrainian and European press, the scandal with the stolen icon presented to the Russian Foreign Minister is not over. A number of politicians in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) have called for the resignation of the head of the Republika Srpska and member of the Presidium of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik. Recall that Milorad Dodik presented the icon to Sergei Lavrov, and on Monday night he was hospitalized with bilateral pneumonia.
«The only right step – resign, resign from a position from which he obviously does not know how to behave, and save us from further embarrassment», – said the leader of the Party of Democratic Progress Branislav Borenovic, reports «European truth» with a link to the Balkan Insight portal.
The report also notes that the Serbian Democratic Party, the largest opposition party in the Republika Srpska, said that everyone involved in this case should resign..
«I hope it won’t just go away this time, because it’s a stain on our entire nation.», – Party leader Mirko Sarovic told reporters on Sunday.
Explanation of the icon’s origin
Meanwhile, the administration of Milorad Dodik explained the origin of the icon presented to the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov as follows – the minister was presented «consecrated home icon».
«Streams of inventions and lies arose after an erroneous initial presentation in the media that we are talking about cultural heritage and national heritage, which has not been established anywhere.», – said in a statement.
As regional media reported earlier, the 18th century icon from Lugansk, donated by the Chairman of the Presidium of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, will be returned to the donors.
«The icon will be returned to donors for further clarification of its history through Interpol», – told the agency in the diplomatic department.
The Ukrainian Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to the Ukrainian press, sent a note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country of BiH with a request to provide information on why the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov was presented with a three-hundred-year-old Ukrainian icon from Luhansk.
Ukraine’s position – unambiguous
Political scientist Olesya Yakhno-Belkovskaya believes that the Ukrainian position in this situation is unambiguous, unambiguous and very clear.
«This is initially a punishment for Russia, despite the fact that someone on the part of Serbian politicians in BiH did not pay due attention to the origin of the icon, but it indicates to whom it belongs», – says Olesya Yakhno-Belkovskaya to the correspondent of the Russian Service «Voices of America».
She thinks that «property component, legal» in cases where the gift is accepted by a government official, must be public.
«The Ukrainian side says that this is its property from Luhansk, then the question arises of how this icon appeared in Bosnia and Herzegovina?» – notes Olesya Yakhno-Belkovskaya.
Certificates and other documents for the icon, according to her, could be made public by experts, given the keen interest in the gift of Serbian politicians to Russian Minister Lavrov.
The investigation will sort it out?
Head of the Bar Association «Bebel, Demura and partners», lawyer Alexey Bebel notes that if the Ukrainian authorities announced this icon, then they must collect evidence to further challenge the situation.
«If a piece of art is cataloged and its location is known, to whom it belonged – for example, a state museum, then, whether it was or was not kidnapped during the Second World War or other events, of course, it belongs to the state of Ukraine», – says Alexey Bebel to the correspondent of the Russian Service «Voices of America».
He believes that the cultural value of the icon has yet to be established, whether it is a cultural heritage..
«And raise the issue of returning this piece of art, in this case, obviously, to the state of Ukraine represented by the Ministry of Culture», – emphasizes attorney Bebel.
One of the aspects of the investigation, he said, should be an understanding of how this icon with Ukrainian state stamps got to Bosnia and Herzegovina..
«During the Second World War, many objects of art were taken away by the Nazis, and they disappeared without a trace, but from time to time some objects surface, they are returned to their owners. It is also necessary to establish when this icon disappeared, and how it got to Bosnia and Herzegovina.», – Alexey Bebel emphasizes.