Moscow asks New Delhi to return the remains of Russian painter Svyatoslav Roerich

Moscow has asked New Delhi to return the remains of Russian portrait and landscape painter Svyatoslav Roerich, who died and was buried at his southern India estate in 1993. Minister of State for External Affairs Ajit Kumar Panja told parliament on Thursday India was considering the request from Russia, which wants to rebury the remains at St. Petersburg in accordance with the artist's will. The 89-year-old painter's family said at the time of his burial his body could not be flown to St. Petersburg because his ageing film-actress widow, Devika Rani, would not have been able to cope with the cold weather. Rani, who starred in early silent movies, died in 1994. However, Indian media reports have since said that the St. Petersburg burial never happened because of legal complications, Reuters reports. They said there was a battle over the couple's vast estate near the city of Bangalore and their collection of art and jewellery.

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