Thursday, May 16, 2013
There is simply no solution to the legal disputes involving the Schneerson Library, Chairman of Russia's Supreme Commercial Court Anton Ivanov said Thursday at a roundtable meeting at the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum (SPILF).
Ivanov said President Vladimir Putin previously announced that the Schneerson Library collection would never be allowed to leave Russia.
Last March, Mikhail Shvydkoi, the presidential envoy on international cultural cooperation, said the library claimed by American Hasidic Jews would be handed over to Russia's own Hasidic Jewish community.
Having been registered at the Russian State Library, the books will be stored at the Jewish Museum and the Tolerance Center.
Lubavitcher Rebbe Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson was forced to leave the Soviet Union in 1927. He took his collection with him to Latvia and Poland, where he left the books after Poland was attacked by Nazi Germany. The collection was taken to Germany and confiscated by the Red Army in 1945. Schneerson died in 1950 without leaving instructions regarding the collection.
On Jan. 16, the US District Court for the District of Columbia ordered Russia to pay fines of $50,000 per day until it returns the books and manuscripts to America's Hasidic community.
Russia's Foreign Ministry described the ruling as unlawful provocation, and asked Russia's Culture Ministry and the State Library to fine the US Congressional Library for failing to return seven of Schneerson's books that were loaned to Washington in 1994.
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