Seven volumes of the "Schneersohn library" lent by Russia to the US Library of Congress in 1994 are at the heart of this latest battle between the US and Russia over the thousands of volumes of books belonging to various Chabad rebbes that were confiscated (or rescued) by various Russian governments. Included in the larger "Schneersohn library" are a number of secular books, like Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, owned by the sixth Lubavitch-Chabad rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn.
RIA Novosti reports from Moscow:
The Russian Culture Ministry on Monday filed a lawsuit against the US Library of Congress over seven books belonging to the so-called Schneerson Library, a group of Jewish texts that are the subject of a long-running ownership battle between Russia and the United States.
“These books were kept in the Russian State Library and, through an inter-library exchange system, were given temporarily to the US Library of Congress,” a Culture Ministry spokesman told RIA Novosti on Monday. “But time’s up. … We have waited for all the normal deadlines and now we’re going through the courts.”
The lawsuit was filed in a Moscow arbitration court Monday in conjunction with the Russian State Library, the ministry spokesman said.…
The seven books targeted by the court case were first lent to the Library of Congress for 60 days in 1994, Natalya Romashova, director of the Culture Ministry’s legal department, told RIA Novosti. They subsequently remained in the United States under an indefinite loan agreement.
But following a recent decision of by the Culture Ministry to relocate the Schneerson Library to the newly built Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, the ministry sent a request to the Library of Congress on March 30 asking that the books be returned, Romashova said.
The request was “simply ignored,” she said.…