One would think the E.U. sanctions only affect superyachts and their oligarch owners due to constant chatter about the same. Finnish customs officials have confiscated artworks valued by insurance at a whopping $46 million. As per the E.U.’s adoption of sanctions, any sale, supply, transfer, or export of luxury goods, including artwork to Russia, is prohibited. Apparently, the shipment intercepted at the Vaalimaa border crossing between Finland and Russia last weekend included paintings, statues, and antiques such as a Titian and a Picasso. The consignment was on its way back from Italy to be returned to the collections of the Hermitage and Tsarskoye Selo state museums in St. Petersburg and the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.
As per Artnet News, The artworks are still Russian property and are being held as evidence. “Professionals have been consulted in the moving and storage of the goods,” customs enforcement director Hannu Sinkkonen said at a press conference, reports Agence France-Presse. “We are not going to open the packages.” The shipments “include works which cannot be valued; they are priceless,” he added. It is reported that the Finnish Heritage Agency will oversee the storage of the confiscated items until the sanctions are lifted. “The enforcement of sanctions is part of our normal operations, and we always direct our controls based on risks. The shipments that have now come under criminal investigation were detected as part of our customary enforcement work,” Sami Rakshit, head of the enforcement department of Finnish Customs, said in a statement.