Monday, August 16, 2010

Ukraine Litigates Rights to Paintings of Famous Ukrainian Artist

A Kiev court has ordered the Central State Archives Museum of Literature and Art to transfer possession of 50 paintings by the famous Ukrainian artist Nikolay Glushenko to his granddaughter, Larisa Glushenko. In 1979, the artist’s widow donated the paintings (currently worth approximately $2 mln.), together with the artist’s brushes, easels and other personal belongings, to the museum to create a memorial room in his honor. Larisa, a US resident, started the Kiev lawsuit in 2008, claiming ownership of the artwork. She argued that the transfer to the museum was not a gift because the transfer instrument did not specify whether the transfer was a gift or for temporary possession, and that because the transfer was for an unspecified period and without consideration, it could be rescinded. The museum argued that it was not a storage facility and that if it accepted the artwork for temporary possession, the instrument would have specified the period and other terms. The court ruled in favor of the granddaughter, and the museum’s appeal did not succeed. The museum has asked the Verkhovna Rada’s (Parliament) Committee on Justice to investigate the legality of the court’s actions.

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