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Sanctions on Russia strand art in South Korea

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Loaned Russian paintings stuck in Seoul due to sanctions. AFP

Sanctions on Russia strand art in South Korea

Dozens of paintings by renowned Russian artists including Wassily Kandinsky are stuck in Seoul after an exhibition due to flight sanctions imposed over Moscow’s military offensive in Ukraine, organisers said on Monday.

The paintings by around 50 Russian artists – including Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, and Alexander Rodchenko, among others – have been on display in central Seoul at the Sejong Museum of Art since December.

But following Russia’s offensive in February, Western countries including the US and the EU have imposed unprecedented sanctions on Moscow.

The exhibition wrapped up on Sunday, but the paintings are stuck in the South Korean capital as all available flight options have been shut down by the sanctions on Moscow, an organiser said.

The art works were loaned by four Russian institutions for the exhibition, according to Seoul organisers, including the Nizhny Novgorod State Art Museum and the Yekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts.

“The works are being prepared to be returned, but flights are currently blocked due to the war in Ukraine,” organisers told AFP.

“Although nothing has been confirmed yet, the Russian side is seeking a way to receive them in a non-airway way.”

The paintings include “Improvisation 4” (1909) by Kandinsky and “Suprematism” (1915-16) by Malevich, as well as “Jewish Venus” (1912) by Mikhail Larionov.

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