Andrey Filatov is probably not your household Russian name, but he is willing to clean up the ‘racist past’ of America for a bargain price instead of letting them get destroyed by the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Filatov’s Art Russe Foundation, usually focusing on Soviet-era art and its preservation, has explicitly opened freely for purchase of the monuments of Theodore Roosevelt and Alexander Baranov, each in New York and Alaska respectively. The reason behind its potential purchase? The two men has left a “positive mark” with US-Russia Relations. The said monuments are currently in hot debate in as whether they have racist past and implications. Filatov’s foundation hopes to bring them to St. Petersburg in the name of preserving “cultural and historical heritage.”
“We have deep respect and appreciation for individuals who contributed to the development of Russia and were associated with the history of our country,” said an Art Russe Foundation spokesperson in an emailed statement.
“Both the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, and the governor of Russian settlements in North America, Alexander Baranov, were statesmen who left their positive mark in Russia’s history.We therefore see the need to preserve their memory for future generations.
Ukrainian-born Filatov made his fortune in the transport and ports industries, according to Forbes, which last year estimated his net worth at $1.1 billion. He founded the investment firm Tuloma in 2013, and co-owns private railway operator Globaltrans.
The 48-year-old is also renowned as a chess player, and serves as president of Russia’s chess federation.
In 2012, Filatov founded Art Russe Foundation in order to collect Russian art which it then loans out to museums and galleries.
“When the Soviet Union collapsed, a huge amount of great artworks were taken out of the country to the west and elsewhere,” he said in a media interview.
“My task is to buy these artworks and show them to people.” Art Russe Foundation confirmed that it has written to Sitka’s City Hall, the American Museum of Natural History and unspecified “New York City authorities” to express its interest in the two statues.
The spokesperson did not say how much had — or would be — offered, instead stating that the artworks’ “monetary value is subject to negotiation.
The spokesperson added that the Russian city of St. Petersburg would be “the appropriate host city” for the statues.
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