Crimean museum director on Western sanctions list

The list of personalities sanctioned by the European Union (EU), Switzerland and France for their involvement in the war in Ukraine has included a new name since this summer: Andrei Vitalyevich Malgin, the director of the Central Museum of Taurida in Simferopol, in Crimea.

At the end of October 2022, Russian troops temporarily occupied Kherson. During this period, they took with them a large number of works of art from the city’s Museum of Fine Arts. These works were then transported to Crimea and deposited in the Central Museum of Taurida. Less than a week after the withdrawal of Russian troops, Ukrainian forces regained control of Kherson.

The EU sanctions, set out in minutes dated June 21, 2023, highlight Andrei Malgin’s responsibility for the transfer. “Acting in this capacity, Andrei Malgin is responsible for supporting and implementing actions and policies that undermine and threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. »

Natalya Leonidovna Desyatova, appointed director of the Kherson museum by the Russian authorities in July 2022, is also subject to EU sanctions. The sanctions file highlights that the Russian director and the Russian security forces played an active role in the transfer of cultural property from the Kherson Museum of Fine Arts to Simferopol.

The American government also joined this condemnation by sanctioning Natalya Desyatova. The United States accuses him of having compromised the peace, security and territorial integrity of the United States, its allies or its partners, by favoring the interests of the Russian government. According to the US State Department, the director oversaw the theft of nearly 10,000 objects from the collection of the Kherson museum.

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