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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pasternak's Relatives File Suit on Archives

The relatives of Boris Pasternak have filed a lawsuit against his former personal secretary to reclaim the Russian poet's archives to keep the documents in Russia, a family member said Wednesday.


Natalya Pasternak, the poet's daughter-in-law, and his granddaughter Yelena appealed to court authorities last week to prevent the archives from leaving the country, Natalya Pasternak said Wednesday.


Boris Pasternak, born in 1890, received the Nobel Prize for literature for his novel "Doctor Zhivago" in 1958. He was expelled from the Soviet Union of Writers although he rejected the award.


After Pasternak's death in 1960, his personal archives were held by his secretary Olga Ivinskaya, who in turn was arrested by the KGB later in 1960.


The archives were confiscated and transferred to the Russian National Literature and Art archives. Currently, Ivinskaya, who was officially rehabilitated in 1988, claims ownership rights over the documents and wants to remove them from the archives, Natalya Pasternak said in an interview.


She said the collection has about 100 of the poet's letters addressed to his friends and literature critics, which Ivinskaya was supposed to mail, plus a painting with his autograph."These documents have an auction value of several million dollars," said Natalya Pasternak. "Ivinskaya has already sold the part that really belonged to her to a closed Georgian archive. This means the documents are lost for the people."


Natalya Pasternak, director of Pasternak's house museum in Peredelkino village near Moscow, said Ivinskaya has authorized her son-in-law, a citizen of France, to remove the document collection from the archives. She also argues that Ivinskaya was jailed for a purely criminal cause, not a political one.


Ivinskaya could not be reached for comment.


"The court put a hold on the documents Feb. 10," Natalya Pasternak said, "otherwise they would have been gone by now.


"I would certainly imagine that such valuable documents should be stored in state archives," said Natalya Volkova, director of the National Literature and Art archives.


No hearings on the case have been scheduled yet, as judge Ivan Vorontsov of Moscow's Savyolovsky district court is conducting an initial examination.


If the Pasternaks win the case, Natalya Pasternak said, the collection will be donated to the state.