Heritage Malta has refused to divulge the name of the donor of 13 ‘Old Master’ paintings currently being exhibited at the Malta National Community Art Museum (MUŻA).
The Shift News reported today that the benefactor is wealthy Russian collector Vladimir Logvinenko, who was embroiled in one of the world’s biggest art scandals dubbed the ‘Rubens Affair’, in which a famous Rubens painting had disappeared only to then have been bought by Logvinenko, prompting a lengthy feud between Germany and Russia.
Lovin Malta contacted Heritage Malta about this case last week and was told: “Heritage Malta cannot divulge the name of the donor simply because it is his/her desire to remain anonymous.”
Heritage Malta was also asked if the person in question was in discussions to buy a Maltese passport.
“Heritage Malta does not have that information,” Lovin Malta was told.
The paintings will be exhibited until the end of October in an exhibition entitled ‘Masterpieces at MUŻA’. They will then be integrated in the MUŻA display for five years and possibly for another five after that. This had been announced by the Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government Jose Herrera.
The Shift News reported how Snezhana Vladimirovna Bodishtianu, a supporter and friend of Joseph and Michelle Muscat, helped broker the loan of the paintings to Malta, together with her husband Evgueni.
Bodishtianu is an accredited IIP agent authorised to sell Maltese citizenship to wealthy Russian investors, The Shift News reports.
“Whether the art deal is connected to Logvinenko’s efforts to acquire Maltese citizenship is as yet unclear… However, the timeframe of the artwork loan indicates this may be a strong possibility,” The Shift News reported.
Will you be visiting the exhibition?