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Give It Back! Chabad rejects Putin deal on Jewish archives

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, accompanied by Chairman of Federation of Russia's Jewish Organizations Alexander Boroda, left, and Russia's chief rabbi Berel Lazar, center, visits the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow on Tuesday. AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Presidential Press Service

Associated Press

WASHINGTON- A U.S.-based Jewish group is rejecting Russian President Vladimir Putin's suggestion to house a disputed historical collection of books and documents at a Jewish museum in Moscow. They want their books back in Brooklyn.

A Washington, D.C., judge has fined Russia $50,000 a day until it returns the documents to the Jewish group, Chabad (khah-BAHD'). Putin floated the idea this week of transferring them to the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center as a way to resolve the impasse.

But in a statement provided Thursday to The Associated Press, Chabad lawyer Nathan Lewin categorically rejects the proposal. Lewin says the only acceptable outcome is for the collection to be returned to Chabad's world headquarters in Crown Heights. 

Russia has halted all art exhibit loans to the U.S., fearing they would be seized and held hostage in the court battle.

February 21, 2013 - 10:19am


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