AZLK retrieves its unique collection

Court officers passed cars arrested for debts of AZLK (Moscow car maker) to the AZLK museum for storage.

It was not yesterday that the story with AZLK debts started. According to Mosenergo joint-stock company, debts of the car maker for electricity supplies makes up about 392 million rubles within the past five years. Viktor Voronov, director of the AZLK museum told PRAVDA.Ru correspondent, first attempts to arrest museum’s property because of AZLK debts were made half a year ago. Only samples of new cars were arrested then. This time the measure is to concern even old cars, for instance the Pontiac presented to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev by Ronald Reagan.

In the night on April 25 court officers of the South-eastern administrative district of Moscow got into the museum of one of Russia’s oldest car makers and removed 23 exhibits. Museum staffers appealed to Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, as they consider the officers’ actions to be vandalism designed to liquidate the institution and asked the mayor for investigation of the situation. It is said in the letter to Yury Luzhkov: “AZLK workers are rightfully proud of the museum and its unique exposition so much liked by Russian and foreign guests. Up to 50,000 people, including foreign delegations visited the museum every year.” Workers of the museum fear that oldest exhibits can be destroyed. Some of them are really unique, reconstruction of one exhibit usually takes 2-3 years.

Under the publicity’s pressure it was decided in the evening of April 29 that the arrested exhibits would be handed over to the museum for storage, however, the arrest would be lifted only when the AZLK management settles debts with the creditors.

Director of the museum thinks, it is not right to involve the museum in the conflicts between the car maker and its creditors. The museum’s exhibits are really of cultural value, and not to be treated as property subject to arrests. Alexander Molchanov PRAVDA.Ru

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Translated by Maria Gousseva

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