The Embassy of Ukraine in the USA and Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine in cooperation with the FBI are conducting an official procedure for returning to Ukraine a painting "Secret Departure of Ivan the Terrible Before the Oprichina" by artist Mykhailo Panin. It has been recently identified in the U.S. as the work of art that went missing from the Dnipropetrovsk Art Museum (Ukraine) during the Second World War.
This story sets the first example of achievement of the U.S.-Ukraine cooperation on the official level in returning illegally exported cultural objects.
The court hearings are currently under way and are already at their final stages. Following court’s ruling, the painting may be officially returned by the United States to Ukraine. To confirm that the art originates from the Dnipropetrovsk Museum the Embassy has provided the necessary evidence to the court, and now we are looking forward to the transfer of the canvas.
Ambassador Valerii Chaly received also a letter from the U.S. couple who possessed the painting over the last 30 years. They explained that they had not been aware of canvas’ origin and disappearance from Ukraine. They welcomed the restoration of justice and expressed confidence that the piece of art would return to its legal owners - the people of Ukraine. On his part, the Ambassador of Ukraine has expressed gratitude to the U.S. citizens for their responsible attitude that truly reflects the strategic partnership of our two nations and vividly demonstrates the friendship between the U.S. and Ukrainian people.