Children s shoes are seen during a demonstration organized by the Ukrainian Association in Finland, to honor the memory of the children killed in Mariupol, Ukraine, in Helsinki, on April 10, 2022. AFP
Finland's customs service said late Saturday that the Foreign Ministry granted a special permit to return the consignment with a total insured value of around 42 million euros ($46 million). It said that trucks carrying the art works from the Hermitage Museum and the Pavlovsk State Museum in St. Petersburg, among others, left Finnish territory on Saturday afternoon.
The shipment was seized at the Vaalimaa border crossing at the beginning of April. The works were en route to Russia after loan to museums in Europe and Japan. Experts say that art works loaned from Russia typically travel overland via Finland.
Russia has demanded the return of all works on loan to ``unfriendly'' nations that imposed sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine.