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Chagall in Moscow for Opening of His Paintings at Tretyakov Gallery

June 7, 1973
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Back in his homeland for the first time in 51 years, Marc Chagall, the world famous Jewish artist, wept at the opening of an exhibition of his paintings at the Tretyakov Gallery, according to reports from Moscow. The exhibition, considered a major artistic event in the Soviet Union, includes 76 contemporary lithographs, two gouaches and three paintings which Chagall had not seen since leaving the Soviet Union in 1922. Arriving in Moscow on Monday, Chagall brought 16 lithographs and two gouaches with him, the other lithographs having been donated to the Soviet Union during the war.

According to reports, upon encountering one of the works he had not seen since 1922, Chagall hesitantly touched its surface and with tears in his eyes told a spectator, who asked if he remembered these paintings well, “More than you can imagine.” He was escorted on a tour of the exhibition by Minister of Culture Yekaterina Furtseva. Several hundred guests were present. At one point during the tour. Minister Furtseva remarked, “One cannot cut oneself off from one’s homeland.” A museum official said the exhibition would last two weeks and possibly a month after which time the collection will presumably go back into storage.

Born in the Belorussian city of Vitebsk, Chagall studied in Leningrad, then called St. Petersburg, and left Russia in 1910 to work for four years in Paris. He returned to Russia in 1914 and was a provincial art minister. However, in 1922 he left again and settled in France. Asked whether he was happy to be back, Chagall replied. “It can be seen in my eyes.”

While Chagall was in Moscow, it was announced yesterday in Paris that a state-built museum devoted entirely to his works will open in Nice on July 7, the artist’s 86th birthday. The museum marks the first time France has built a museum to house the production of a single living artist.

Gen. Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s former Ambassador to the United States, said in Tel Aviv that the U.S. was well aware that American arms sent to Arab countries would be used against Israel incase, of war. He noted that the best proof was the fact that tanks sent to Jordan under the U.S.-Jordanian arms deal of 1966 were used against Israel in the 1967 war. He said the U.S. tanks crossed the Jordan River although expressly forbidden to do so under the arms deal terms; 100 were captured.

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