Uzbekistan art museum director axed over alleged fraud

Director of prominent art museum in Uzbekistan unexpectedly fired over alleged looting

Photo by: Savitsky Collection
Photo by: Savitsky Collection

"Crimson Autumn" by Ural Tansykbaev, Savitsky Collection

Marinika Babanazarova, the director of the Savitsky Art Museum in Nukus, Uzbekistan, was fired on Monday by the country's government without any reason being given.

Babanazorava, who has been running the museum for 31 years, gave a statement to the BBC saying that the verdict is related to accusations of her stealing paintings and swapping them with fake ones. She denied the allegations, calling them "absurd."

According to Babanazorava, the reason why the government removed her from her post was simply  "an attempt to discredit the museum's leadership” she said.

Workers at the museum protested the government's decision by releasing a letter. In the letter they stated that they have no doubts about the director’s honesty and the whole collection is “safe and sound.”

The Savitsky museum, which is also known as the Karakalpak State Art Museum, is famous for its Russian avant garde art, which is the second largest collection in the world. It is also home to one of the biggest collections of archaeological objects and folklore-related artifacts from Central Asia.

TRTWorld and agencies