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Ukraine Launches Art Database

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

The searchable database of art owned by sanctioned Russian oligarchs contains some 300 works by the likes of Pablo Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci and more. It's designed to stop them profiting from these assets.

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Amid the Russian invasion, Ukraine has launched a new database that tracks art owned by Russian nationals under Western sanctions. “Russian oligarchs, despite the sanctions imposed on them, can still easily hide and launder their money through art objects,” writes Ukraine’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) in a statement. “Painting, sculptures, artistic jewelry - this is exactly what is used as a loophole to circumvent sanctions.”

“The inclusion of famous works by artists as varied as Claude Monet, Damien Hirst and Auguste Rodin highlights the extraordinary wealth accumulated by those said to be supporting the Russian leadership,” writes the Guardian.

According to the NACP’s statement, the agency hopes the database will “make it easier for virtuous art market participants to carry out ‘sanctions’ checks and make it difficult for Russian oligarchs to sell such assets.”

“From now on,” says the NACP, “everyone can easily monitor the circulation of art products that are bought or sold by sanctioned Russians.”


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