Master Bank lost its license on November 20, 2013, and was declared bankrupt in January 2014 (case no. A40-172055/2013). The chairman of the management Board and co-owner of the credit institution Boris Bulochnik was accused of deliberate bankruptcy of the organization, disappeared abroad and was arrested in absentia in April 2016.
After that, the ICR was involved in the situation with the Baker's case. It turned out that some of the copies of the ICR museum were received as a gift from the co-owner of the bank. The investigators of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Central Administrative District of Moscow considered that this was done with the money of the bank's clients and petitioned for the seizure of the entire collection, including not only paintings, but also personal belongings of the Roerich family.
According to the lawyer of the ICR Andrey Drozdov, the paintings of the Roerichs at the moment continue to remain under arrest, imposed in 2022 as part of the bankruptcy procedure of Master Bank. The seizure of 24.62 billion rubles was imposed on cash, real estate and over 500 works of art, including icon paintings and a collection of bronze sculptures. In addition to the property of Boris Bulochnik, the defendants in this case are also Alexander Bulochnik (son and former board member), Galina Nagaeva (ex-deputy chairman of the Board of the bank) and Vladimir Orlov (former board member).
However, it is important that the Moscow City Court recognized the collection of 188 paintings held in custody at the Museum of the East as the property of the ICR. Earlier, the lawyer of this museum, Yulia Verbitskaya, insisted that 72 works were included in the State Catalog of the Museum Fund of the Russian Federation, and therefore are considered state property. At the same time, the ICR presented donation agreements and other evidence that the property belongs to the Roerichs center, estimating its value at almost 1.8 billion rubles.
The bankruptcy process of the Master Bank is still ongoing. The paintings continue to remain under arrest, and their return to the ICR has been postponed for the time being. The claims of the creditors of Master Bank exceeded 62.3 billion rubles. It was possible to pay only 20.85 billion.