Collection of Kherson Art Museum stolen by Russian invaders was “found” in occupied Crimea

Paintings stolen from the Kherson Art Museum – in the Central Tavrida Museum in Simferopol. Photo:

Paintings stolen by Russian occupants from Kherson Oblast Art Museum named after Oleksii Shovkunenko were identified in the Central Tavrida Museum in occupied Simferopol. Photos of unloading and careless compilation of paintings were published in social media. Personnel of the Kherson Art Museum identified part of the stolen collection. 

It was reported by the personnel of Kherson Oblast Art Museum named after Oleksii Shovkunenko, as the Center for Journalist Investigations informs. 

The following paintings stolen by occupants were identified in Simferopol: “Picket on the river bank, Sunset” by Ivan Pokhitonov, landscape painter and graphic artist, 1890s; “Houses at sunset” by painter P.Sokolov, “Paris landscape” by Mykhailo Andrienko-Nechytailo, 1948, “Autumn time” by Georgii Kurnakov, 1965, “Gladioluses” by Leonid Chichkan, 1974, “Link” by Gavrylo Gluk, 1975. 

All paintings have great value, as museum personnel say. For example, “Paris landscape” of Andrienko-Nechytailo was transferred to the museum in 1994 by the National Commission on Repatriation of Cultural Heritage to Ukraine. The painter spent most of his life in France. The painting “Link” is authored by Gluk, classical painter of Transcarpathian school of painting. 

“We hope that this information will become a powerful evidence for identifying and prosecuting all persons who stole painting from the Kherson Art Museum named after O.Shovkunenko”, as museum workers said. 

As it has been earlier reported, Russian occupants looted the museum from October 31 till November 3. They brought in 30-40 people who took paintings and computer equipment. Paintings were not properly packed. The museum was looted under the oversight of unknown armed civilians. 

This “evacuation” of paintings was managed by collaborator Natalia Desjatova, pseudo-director of the museum. Before the Russian occupation, she has been a singer in “Teatralne” café. Other museum workers who agreed to cooperate with occupants helped her. To the opinion of Alina Dotsenko, acting director of the museum, her former subordinates Natalia Koltsova and Inna Burenko became collaborators and now “accept” collection of the Kherson Art Museum in Simferopol. 

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