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Kumu told to surrender valuable art collection to heir

Harju County Court has ruled that the Ministry of Culture has to hand over a valuable art collection in the Kumu Art Museum to an heir.

The new owner of the collection is Mare Raukas, the daughter of James Raukas, doctor to interwar President Konstantin Päts, and actress Mare Raukas (alias Mare Leet), Eesti Päevaleht reported.

The collection is said to be worth over 100,000 euros.

The six paintings and a sculpture that the state has to surrender are Peet Aren's portrait of Mare Leet (1934) and charcoal drawing "Portrait of a Girl" (1934), Ado Vabbe's watercolor "Landscape" (1910s), Konrad Mägi's charcoal portrait "Marie Reisik" (1916), and paintings "Landscape with Windmill" (1913/1914) and "Venice" (1921/1922), and a sculpture by Linda Sõber (ca 1938-1944).

The works of Aren and Mägi have been repeatedly displayed in art exhibitions and Aren's portrait "Mare Leet" was part of KUMU's permanent exposition.

Ivo Mahhov, Raukas's attorney, first asked Kumu to return the works last fall but both the museum and the ministry refused, citing unsubstantiated ownership claims.

Raukas then successfully sued the ministry, which now has to not only surrender the collection, but also reimburse the 26,000-euro legal bill.

Editor: M. Oll

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