Vladislav Kononov, the head of the museums department of the Russian Culture Ministry told Sputnik Thursday that there can be no discussion about returning cultural property that was removed from German territory following World War II.
Earlier in the day, the Izvestia newspaper reported, citing sources in the German Embassy in Moscow, that Berlin intended to call on Russia to return the cultural property that was removed from the country's territory during the war and post-war years. "There can be no discussion about the return of cultural property ... This issue should not even be raised. There can be some intergovernmental agreements or exchange deals, but the question of returning what was fixed in 1945 should not be raised," Kononov said. According to Kononov, Russian museums do their own searches for artifacts that could have been stolen during WWII and purchase them using either their own funds or the national budget.