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Russia Wants Britain To Block Auction Of 'Stolen' Painting

The Russian bureau of Interpol has sent a request to British authorities to block the auction of a painting by Russian-Armenian artist Ivan Aivazovsky.

Russia's Interior Ministry said on May 30 that the painting, Evening in Cairo, was "stolen from a private collection in Moscow in 1997."

Auction house Sotheby's says the 1870 painting, which is due to be sold in London on June 2, has an estimated value of $2.3-$4.6 million.

Sotheby's told Reuters news agency that it was aware of a claim that the painting was stolen, but found no record of the painting in databases of stolen art.

Ivan Aivazovsky, who lived between 1817 and 1900, was an artist of the Romantic school noted for his landscapes and seascapes.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Interfax