SBU and customs detained part of the “Platar” collection, which belongs to Serhiy Taruta. Exhibits wanted to be taken abroad

Ghanna Mamonova
Kateryna Kobernyk

At the end of May, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the State Customs at the border in the Lviv region detained the Chinese part of the "Platar" collection, which belongs to businessman and politician Serhiy Taruta.

Information about this was confirmed to "Babel" by five sources — four in museum circles of Ukraine and one in SBU.

According to the law, cultural values from private or state collections can be exported abroad only after a state examination and obtaining an export permit. According to "Babel", part of "Platar" was tried to be exported without proper documents. Customs officers were presented with papers according to which the historical artifacts of the collection are not cultural values. The Institute of Forensic Expertise of the Ministry of Justice has to find out whether this is actually the case. Now the collection is in Kyiv.

We asked press secretary Serhiy Taruta to comment on this information and sent our questions at her request. According to her, now the businessman is on a foreign business trip.

SBU has not yet responded to Babelʼs official request.

About "Platar"

The collection of cultural monuments "Platar" is private. It was founded by entrepreneur Serhiy Platonov (died in 2005) and entrepreneur and politician Serhiy Taruta. As stated on the website of the private Museum of Historical Cultural Property "Platar", the collection includes more than ten thousand monuments from different regions and historical eras. The Chinese part of the collection includes works by Chinese masters of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. These are sabers, ritual daggers, items of religious purpose, silverware, ivory, valuable wood and other items in which the influence of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, various ethnographic traditions, as well as the entire history of the Qing dynasty can be traced. In particular, the personal belongings of the last Chinese emperor, Pui.

The Chinese collection "Platar" was exhibited in Kyiv in various museums, as well as in the Lviv Woznytsky Gallery.