REUTERS

The Ministry of Culture of Ukraine began to prepare proposals for sanctions against directors and officials of the Crimean museums involved in the movement of cultural property across the state border of Ukraine.

Read alsoBakhchysaray Palace in occupied Crimea under threat from "renovation""The use of museum items of the Museum Fund of Ukraine, stored in the relevant institutions of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, for exhibiting outside Ukraine is illegal," the ministry said in a statement to Krym-Realii media project's request.

The ministry also noted that after the annexation of Crimea, it lost communications with cultural institutions located on the peninsula. However, the ministry was able to gather information about some facts of the movement of paintings from the occupied Crimea to Russia.

The investigative bodies have initiated criminal proceedings under Art. 356 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine ("unsanctioned action") on the fact of moving 38 paintings from the collection of the Aivazovsky National Art Gallery from Crimea to Russia in 2016.