Art war for sanctioned oligarchs

Tuesday 8th August, 2023 - Bruce Sterling

*What a dreadful struggle.
From Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi to Andy Warhol’s Four Marilyns, it amounts to an art collection that could grace any gallery in the world.

But rather than being the highlights of a blockbuster exhibition at a major gallery, these are just some of the 300, and counting, pieces known to have been recently owned by Russian nationals under western sanctions that have been entered into a searchable database set up by Ukraine’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP).

The agency’s “war and sanctions portal” lists paintings and sculptures thought to have been bought and sold in recent years by the Russian super-rich accused by the west and Kyiv of aiding and abetting Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine….