hanover
  • Russia Fined $44 Million for Schneerson Library

    In a decision likely to prolong a Russian ban on lending art to American museums, a federal judge on Thursday ordered Russia to pay a fine of $43.7 million for refusing to return a collection of Jewish books and documents to the Hasidic Chabad-Lubavitch group • Full Story

    The New York Times

    In a decision likely to prolong a Russian ban on lending art to American museums, a federal judge on Thursday ordered Russia to pay a fine of $43.7 million for refusing to return a collection of Jewish books and documents to the Hasidic Chabad-Lubavitch group.

    The dispute, long a source of diplomatic tension between the United States and Russia, centers on a collection of 12,000 books and 50,000 religious documents known as the Schneerson Library. The material was amassed by the Chabad movement in the two centuries before World War II, and kept since then in Russia.

    For years, the Chabad organization, which is now based in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, has been trying to regain possession of the library from Russia, arguing that Soviet authorities held it illegally after the war.

    In response, the Kremlin in 2011 barred state-run museums, including the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, from lending works to American museums, saying it fears they could be seized as part of the court case. American officials have said that such art seizures are forbidden by law and Chabad has forsworn any such effort, but the prohibition on lending remains in place.

    The legal dispute dates back more than a decade. In 2010, Judge Royce C. Lamberth of Federal District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the Russian government to hand over all Schneerson collection documents that were being held at the Russian State Library and in the Russian State Military Archives.

    The Russians have refused, calling the texts state property and a “treasure of the Russian people.”

    In 2013, over the objections of the State Department, the judge fined Russia $50,000 a day for not complying with his order. The State Department had argued that, among other things, such a decision risked inflaming Russian-American relations.

    On Thursday, Judge Lamberth again rejected the administration’s objections and ordered that Russia pay the $43 million in penalties accrued so far.

    “There is simply no evidence on the record that this case has any impact on relations between the United States and Russia outside of this case,” he said.

    Alluding to the heightened tensions between the two countries over Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine and other issues, the judge said, “Given the United States’ current sanctions against Russia and Russian interests based upon various geopolitical events, the court is unpersuaded by such a vague concern in this case.”

    He noted the Russian government’s response, or lack of it, in the decade since the Chabad organization made its legal claim, including “the bellicose statements of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and tit-for-tat litigation instituted in Russian courts.”

    In 2013, Mr. Putin proposed transferring the works to a new Jewish center in Moscow, the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, but Chabad said it believed only a small number had been moved there.

    The State Department did not return a request for comment on Friday.

    Steven Lieberman, a lawyer representing the Chabad organization who has also represented The New York Times as outside counsel, said the organization is looking to identify Russian assets other than art to seize to put pressure on the Russian government.

    “It is doing this so that it has a tool, a mechanism of pressure to induce the Russians to give back the sacred books,” he said.

    188

    Tags: , ,

    Related Posts:

    *Only proper comments will be allowed
  • Event Calendar

  • Tuesday, Oct 27th, Wedding – Shlome Wolvovsky – CH & Rochel Leah Matusof – Madison, WI @ Oholei Torah
  • Thursday Oct 29th Wedding: Devorah Bennish – Detroit & Mordechai Rubin – London @ Royalty House, MI
  • Sunday, Oct 25th, Sholli Miller – Chicago, IL & Batya Korf – Miami Beach, FL @ Bais Rivka 310 Crown Street
  • Thursday, Oct 22 Wedding: Chaim Boruch Bar-Chaim – CH & Shoshana Pimentelli – CH/TX @ Oholei Torah
  • Thursday, Oct 22 L’Chaim: Sruli Finck – CH & Chaya Mangel – Dayton, OH @ Chovevei Torah 885 Eastern Parkway
  • Tuesday, Oct 20th Wedding: Dovid Kaminetzky – Melbourne, AU & Chaya Okunov – Crown Heights @ Oholei Torah
  • Monday Oct 19 L’Chaim: Ari (Aaron) Levertov – Crown Heights & Debby Rabinowicz – Sao Paulo, Brazil @ Choivevey Torah
  • Monday, Oct 19 2015 Wedding: Mendy Zippel – Salt Lake City, UT & Fraidy Shagalov – Crown Heights @ Oholei Torah
  • Sunday 18th Oct. L’Chaim: Chananya Niassoff – CH & Tzirl Brennan – CH @ Bais Rivkah Crown St
  • Sunday Oct 18th – Wedding: Mendy Edelman – Crown Heights & Sara Lozenik – Miami, FL @ Oholei Torah
  • Tehilim

  • Dov Chaim Ben Rivkah
  • Tzvi Hirsch Ben Guttel
  • Charna Alexandra bas Chana Esther
  • Ettie Bas Alte Miriam
  • Zissel Yehudis Bas Masha
  • Chaim Yosef Yitzchok Ben Sarah Elka
  • Devorah Bas Sarah
  • Boruch Ben Sarah
  • DovBer Ben Dina
  • Sender Ben Chaya Devorah
  • Lost and Found

  • Lost Men’s Heavy Black Winter Jacket Size Large in 770
  • Lost in 770 before Pesach, a black Bradley Jons long coat size 38R. No lining and no belt. Almost brand new! Please call zalman at 347-788-0749
  • Found black hats outside 770, behind the Hatzalah ambulance
  • lost – Chitas bearing a blessing to Shmuel from Sarge. (Sargent Zvi Fisher z..l.v) geulanow@012.net.il or +1-7869427070
  • LOST: in 770 a black Lenovo Intel core i5 laptop in a dark grey laptop bad together with a WD hard drive, if found please call Zalmy 347-788-0749
  • Found: Maroon Chitas
  • Found: Bag of Clothes
  • Found: Leather-Bound Pink Siddur
  • Lost: Box with Mini Shas from YSP
  • Lost: Rose Gold Bangle/Bracelet
  • Classifieds

  • Cook position for a local Mosad
  • Looking for a cook/kitchen manager
  • Administrator for a local Mosad Experience a must, and preferbiligual a bonus poconosmountains@gmail.com
  • Looking for a cook/kitchen manager Experience a must. poconosmountains@gmail.com
  • ‘Beis Mosiach’s’ to give away for free
  • Private Rooms for Men
  • Newly renovated Basement for rent
  • Judaica Store in Crown Heights is Looking to Hire
  • Looking for Work? Opportunity available, for a quick & efficient typist in Williamsburg. For more info: 201-800-1774
  • Lost in 770 Last Week: Transparant Bag of Tefillin, Rashi, R”T, Chitas – in black/grey 770 pouches