Saturday, December 22, 2007

Loan On

I haven't been keeping up with the story of the threatened cancellation of a loan of a group of important works from Russia to a U.K. museum, since the news seemed to change every five minutes. But now it seems that the loan is definitely back on. The New York Times reports this morning:

"One day after announcing that it was canceling plans to lend paintings from its museums to a major exhibition in London, Russia reversed itself after the British government moved up the date on which legislation protecting art from seizure in lawsuits would become effective .... The exhibition, 'From Russia: French and Russian Master Paintings 1870-1925,' was scheduled to open at the Royal Academy on Jan. 26. But Moscow refused to lend major French and Russian paintings out of concern that they might be held. ... Among the paintings to be shown were prominent Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works, which descendants of some Russian collectors claim were taken by the new government after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. James Purnell, head of the British Culture Department, said on Thursday that Britain would move up, to early January from late February, the effective date of a provision in legislation that bars the seizure of art lent on a government-to-government basis."