01 July 2013, 11:28
Russian Culture Ministry files lawsuit against U.S. Congress Library over non-return of Schneerson library books (updated)
Moscow, July 1, Interfax - The Russian Ministry of Culture together with the Russian State Library are determined to have seven books from the Schneerson Library retuned by the Library of the U.S. Congress through arbitration.
"On July 1 the Ministry of Culture and the Russian State Library filed a motion at the Moscow Arbitration Court to bind the Library of the U.S. Congress to return seven books from the Schneerson library of the collection of the RSL center of Oriental literature received in 1994 for temporary use under the international library exchange system," a statement of the ministry press service says.
Agudas Chasidei Chabad nonprofit organization to which the Library of Congress lent the books is also party to the litigation.
The statement says that the ministry and RSL were forced to take the matter to court given the absence of any reaction from the Library of Congress to the RSL demand to return the books "having national significance."
The Schneerson Library is a collection of old Jewish books and manuscripts, put together by rabbis of the Chabad Jewish community in the late 18th century in Belarus IT is one of the Jewish religious relics.
Part of the collection amassed by Lubavitcher Rebbe Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson, was nationalized by Bolsheviks in 1918 and ended up at the Russian State Library. The other part was taken out of the Soviet Union by Schneerson, who emigrated in the 1930s.
About 25,000 pages of manuscripts got into the hands of the Nazis, and were later seized by the Red Army and handed over to the Russian State Military Archive.
Lubavitchers (adherents of one of the Hasidic movements) have sought the restitution of the Schneerson collection since the late 1980s. According to some reports, at the time Russia's first president Boris Yeltsin promised to James Baker, Secretary of State in the George Bush Sr. administration, that the sacred documents would be returned to the Hasids.
On August 6, 2010, a federal judge in Washington, Royce Lamberth, ruled that the Hasids proved the legitimacy of their claims to the ancient Jewish books and manuscripts, which, in his definition, are kept at the Russian State Library and the Russian Military Archive illegally.
The Russian Foreign Ministry challenged the judgment.
- Russia issued seven warnings over inciting national and religious enmity in 2014 23 April 2014, 15:36
- Yatsenyuk has yet to decide whether he will go to the Vatican 23 April 2014, 10:00
- Lukashenko cites Bible during address, calls for national unity 22 April 2014, 14:36
- Leader of the Ukrainian Union of Orthodox citizens is proclaimed people’s president of Novorossia Republic 21 April 2014, 18:09
- No religious fanatics ever existed in Kazakhstan - Nazarbayev 18 April 2014, 17:14
- Doctors of Rostov clinic refuse abortions for Easter week 18 April 2014, 16:29
- Church official hopes that West hears Putin’s call to build Europe basing on shared values 18 April 2014, 11:03
- Beijing: Islamists control regional drug trafficking routes 17 April 2014, 16:27
- Russian people, like Noah, urged not to let the world finally sink in sin, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin believes 16 April 2014, 19:21
- Two chapels and baptistery set on fire in Ulyanovsk region 16 April 2014, 17:47
- Alleged ex-activist of Hizb ut-Tahrir going on trial in Moscow 16 April 2014, 17:11
- Gay parades not permitted in Sevastopol or Simferopol 16 April 2014, 16:59
- Two imams banned from mosque service in Kyrgyzstan 16 April 2014, 15:29
- Kadyrov wants to build a mosque in Sevastopol 16 April 2014, 11:49
- Murderer confessed in his crimes after becoming a believer 15 April 2014, 16:11
- Islamic radicals are unpopular in Crimea - expert 15 April 2014, 11:08
- Putin thanks Russia's chief rabbi for contribution in enhancing inter-confession peace 15 April 2014, 10:00
- About 170 tonnes of matzah made for Passover in Russia 14 April 2014, 10:08
- Two militants suspected killers of Dagestan village imam 14 April 2014, 10:00
- Odessa Diocese secretary moves to Moscow for fear of persecution 11 April 2014, 17:27
- WRPC Human Rights Center supports the idea of criminal proceedings against Gorbachev 11 April 2014, 16:31
- Group of Jehovah's Witnesses followers detained in Uzbekistan 11 April 2014, 14:23
- Roman Abramovich spends half million dollars on Passover celebrations 11 April 2014, 10:08
- Village mosque imam killed in Dagestan 11 April 2014, 10:00
- Russian oligarchs start a pilgrimage across Israeli desert 10 April 2014, 11:39
- Radical Islam followers from Europe, Central Asia fight for Syrian militants - Bortnikov 09 April 2014, 14:03
- Assailants of Dagestan madrasah teacher killed in police operation 09 April 2014, 11:24
- Iraqi Sharia court to try Bryansk pedagogue on earthenware smuggling counts 09 April 2014, 10:59
- Kostroma authorities to appeal court ruling over illegality of gay pride parade ban 09 April 2014, 10:13
- Terrorism, Wahhabism neutralized in Chechnya completely – Kadyrov 09 April 2014, 10:04