Support The Moscow Times!

$50M in Fabergé Antiquities Shipped to Panama After Oligarch Hit With Sanctions: Reports

Of the 52 Faberge-designed imperial eggs, 46 are believed to have survived since the 19th century. salomonrbc / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

A Russian Culture Ministry-linked organization sent a $47 million package labeled “Fabergé Russia” to Panama three weeks after the United States placed sanctions on known Fabergé enthusiast Viktor Vekselberg, the investigative outlet The Intercept reported Wednesday.

Russia’s State Museum and Exhibition Center ROSIZO shipped the package on April 28, 2018, to a Vekselberg-owned company in Panama, The Intercept cited shipping industry data as saying. The U.S. slapped sanctions on Vekselberg and other Russian oligarchs on April 6, 2018, in response to “malign” Russian actions.

It’s not known what precisely was in the packages marked as antiquities, given the breadth of decorative objects produced by the House of Fabergé,” The Intercept wrote.

Vekselberg, 63, bought nine Fabergé Easter eggs in 2004. Of the 52 Faberge-designed imperial eggs, 46 are believed to have survived since the 19th century.

Indeed, the eggs may still be residing in Russia, and the package may have been stuffed with other Fabergé valuables,” The Intercept said.

Vekselberg’s spokesperson, the Faberge Museum, ROSIZO and the Culture Ministry did not respond to requests to identify the shipped items. 

ROSIZO shipped the “Fabergé Russia” package to the address in Panama that houses the offices of Vekselberg’s Lamesa Arts Inc.  

Vekselberg was locked in a court battle for the Fabergé brand nearly a decade ago, seeking to transfer the brand rights to Lamesa.

Forbes estimates Vekselberg’s net worth at $11.2 billion.

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more