The National Art Museum of Ukraine has requested a criminal investigation be opened after two paintings it lent to the government were replaced with copies.
The Kiev museum lent two paintings by Nicholas Glushchenko -- "The Village by the River" and "Dniprovski Next" -- to the Cabinet of Ministers for temporary display in August 2001. In November, museum staff told Cabinet officials they thought the two paintings had been replaced with forgeries.
Chemical tests of paint samples from the paintings and expert analysis of the works proved they were created five to 10 years ago, Ukraine's Culture Ministry said in a statement Wednesday. Glushchenko died in 1977.
The National Art Museum of Ukraine released a statement Wednesday urging a criminal investigation and denied giving the Cabinet forgeries in 2001.