Ivan Shishkin's artwork Forest was discovered in Belarus. The painting was seized during the arrest of members of a drug ring. It has been sent to the National Art Museum for examination.
Masterpieces of world art disappeared from the museum near Vladimir region in 2013.
Robbers handcuffed old woman-keeper to a radiator and stole the masterpieces. Three paintings such as Fisherman by Konstantin Korovin, First Snow by Stanislav Zhukovsky and Forest by Ivan Shishkin disappeared from the museum.
Ivan Shishkin's artwork was found after a search of drug traffickers' premises. The picture should have been moved to the Russian Federation on the next day. They were going to sell the painting for 100,000 euros and 3 kilograms of cocaine.
Nevertheless, the auction price of this picture can reach $2 million.
Georgy Evchar, an official representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus:
This is truly a masterpiece. As I said earlier, it would go to the expense of payment for the next drug lot. Therefore, our tasks were to stop this international drug channel and return the painting.
The picture is in the National Art Museum now.
The experts are carrying out a number of examinations using an x-ray, chemical and visual methods. Every detail is important.
Aleksey Horyak, head of Russian and foreign art of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus:
The research process is under way. Today, in my opinion, there is no substantial evidence which would allow us to say that it is not Shishkin’s work.
The fate of the painting will be decided only after the experts' conclusion. However, there is a symbolism in the finding. The picture was found on the 25th of January, just on the painter’s birthday.