MOSCOW, February 19 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that the country should not return cultural property confiscated by Bolshevik and Soviet authorities after the 1917 revolution to its previous owners.
“If we now agree that such property of the Russian state will be transferred to someone, we will open a Pandora’s box. I’m not saying now whether the Soviet government was right or wrong after the revolution of 1917 when it nationalized huge amounts of property, but nearly 100 years has passed, and we live taking this reality into account,” he said.
Putin added that if Russia were to begin satisfying such claims to confiscated property they could prove endless and where they would lead is unclear.
“Maybe, someday, we will be able to do this, but now, in my view, we are absolutely unprepared for it. It’s impossible,” he said.