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Ukraine government's office art swapped for fakes

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April 26, 2012, 7:17 a.m. | Ukraine — by Reuters

The landscape paintings by 20th century Ukrainian artist Mykola Hlushchenkohave been on display in the government building since August 2001.
© tsn.ua

Reuters

Two valuable paintings in the offices of theUkrainian governmenthave been mysteriously swapped for replicas, the former Soviet republic's Culture Ministry said on Wednesday, April 26. The landscape paintings by 20th century Ukrainian artist Mykola Hlushchenkohave been on display in the government building since August 2001.

"Chemical tests have shown that both paintings are replicas of Hlushchenko's works," the ministry said in a statement.

Insurers have valued the paintings at about $144,000 combined.

The ministry said the replicas appeared to be 5-10 years old.Ukrainehas had five prime ministers since August 2001, two of whom - current presidentViktor Yanukovichand his rivalYulia Tymoshenko- have held the post twice
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