With the war in Ukraine, what will happen to the pieces of art of the Morozov collection?

While the world is shaken by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and sanctions are taken by the European Union, the Louis Vuitton Foundation has confirmed the extension of the Morozov exhibition.


The Louis Vuitton Foundation has just confirmed the extension of the Morozov Collection exhibition until April 3, 2022. The paintings, which have been on display since September 22, 2021, are largely owned by Russian museums or owners. These exceptional works of Modern Art had been nationalized by Lenin in 1918, following the Bolshevik revolution. The collection, which brings together 200 French and Russian works by the Moscow brothers Mikhail Abramovich Morozov and Ivan Abramovich Morozov, may well remain in France longer than expected in light of recent events.


In Russia, the Hermitage Museum, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, the Russian National Museum, the Tretyakov Gallery and the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation are among the partners of the event. Some of the exhibited works also belong to the Belarusian National Museum of Fine Arts in Minsk, and the Dnipropetrovsk Museum of Fine Arts in Ukraine. “According to the law in force since August 10, 1994, the French state cannot sequester these paintings, pastels and sculptures because they belong to foreign public institutions,” explains lawyer Olivier de Baecque, a specialist in art law. In addition, a decree of unseizability was taken on February 19, 2021 by the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Culture concerning the arrival of works in France. “Before each exhibition, it is sufficient to promulgate an order of unseizability, and to extend the device in case of prolongation of the event.


Paul Gauguin – Eu haere ia oe (Where are you going?), The woman with the fruit © Louis Vuitton Fondation


Jean-Paul Claverie, Bernard Arnault‘s advisor, comments: “At the time of writing, I have not received any call from the embassy or from Russian museums. I remind you that our responsibility is to protect the works. We will therefore ensure their return to their museum as agreed. If the conditions for their safe travel are not sufficient, we will wait.” In 2016, the foundation had already partnered with Russia by bringing the Shchukin collection, illustrating “the strength of the ties of friendship and collaboration that have always united French and Russian institutions.”



The situation on April 3, 2022 will tell us more about this Russian invasion of Ukraine and the future of the paintings in the incredible Morozov Collection.




Featured photo : © Louis Vuitton Fondation

Passionnée par l’art et la mode, Hélène s’oriente vers une école de stylisme: l’Atelier Chardon-Savard. Elle complète ensuite sa formation par un MBA en Marketing à l’ISG. Elle a écrit pour le magazine Do it in Paris et se spécialise en rédaction d’articles concernant le luxe, l’art et la mode au sein de Luxus +.


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