In late October, Russian president Vladimir Putin declared martial law in four occupied regions of Ukraine that the Kremlin claims are now part of Russia. That decree included language “legalizing” looting in the name of “preservation,” The Art Newspaper reported last week.
Ukrainian media outlets have claimed since early in the war that Russian forces have removed valuable artifacts from the Shovkunenko Regional Art Museum, which specializes in fine and decorative arts from Ukraine and Russia and the Kherson Regional Museum, with the most valuable works have been pilfered back in May before Ukraine forced could muster a counterattack, according to The Art Newspaper.