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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Artworks Impounded at Sheremetyevo

Artworks by Picasso, Renoir and Matisse have been held by customs officials at Sheremetyevo Airport without explanation for more than three weeks, the gallery importing the paintings said Monday.

The works, estimated to be worth a total of $20 million, belong to a collector who lives in Switzerland and New York, said Lyuba Mosionzhnik, director of the Shkola gallery. About 40 paintings are involved, she said.

"No one knows anything and no one has told us why these works have been detained," said Mosionzhnik, a U.S. citizen. "Every day we've been told that tomorrow the works will be released, but it never happens and this has gone on for over three weeks."

Under Russian law, customs officials have three days to explain why items have been detained, said Andrei Yeremin, a legal adviser to Shkola. The paintings have been held since Oct. 18.