Trophy Art Set Free

The St Petersburg Times 31 August 2004

A 400-year-old painting by Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens that had been held in a Moscow museum while the Prosecutor’s Office decided if it could be legally handed back to Germany has been released to its owner after finding it was legally purchased, Interfax reported Friday, quoting Vladimir Logvinenko, a businessman and art collector.

The release of Rubens’ “Tarquin and Lucretia” means it was purchased legally, Interfax cited the businessman as saying, although the German government considers it “trophy art” and had pressed Russian authorities to prosecute Logvinenko. Logvinenko took possession of the painting recently.

“I, in my turn, have handed over the painting to the [St. Petersburg’s State] Hermitage, according to an agreement I had reached with the museum earlier. Today it was already sent there,” Logvinenko said.

The painting was exhibited in Potsdam Art Gallery before 1942 it was taken by to the cottage of a lover of Joseph Goebbels. It was then taken to Russia by an officer of the Soviet army and sold several times before coming into Logvinenko’s possession.
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