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Monday, 14 May, 2001, 05:31 GMT 06:31 UK
Appeal to save unique Soviet art

Art lovers from across Russia and central Asia have started an appeal for funds to save a unique museum in Uzbekistan that displays avant garde paintings of the 1920s and 1930s collected from across the former Soviet Union.

The Nukus museum, close to the shores of the Aral Sea, was founded by Igor Savitsky, who travelled widely before World War II, collecting works either being ignored or suppressed by the Communist authorities.

The BBC Central Asia Correspondent says some of the thousands of artists represented in the Nukus museum are familiar names, while others are completely unknown.

She says the appeal has been launched because many of the paintings are in danger of destruction, crammed into a small building with no scope for proper display or conservation.

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