Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dispute between Chabad & Russia - Derails Art Loans From Russia


Diplomats in Washington and Moscow have been seeking to negotiate an agreement to pave the way for the loans but have so far been unsuccessful.

The legal dispute centers on the so-called Schneerson Library, a collection of 12,000 books and 50,000 religious documents assembled by the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement over two centuries prior to World War II, and kept since in Russia.

For decades the Chabad organization, which is based in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, has been trying to regain possession of the library, saying that it was illegally held by the Soviet authorities after the war.

In 1991 a court in Moscow ordered the library turned over to the Chabad organization; the Soviet Union then collapsed, and the judgment was set aside by the Russian authorities. The Russian government now says it wants to preserve the library for Russian Jews and scholars. [...]

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