Written: Written on March 5, 1920
Published: First published in 1965 in Collected Works, Fifth Ed., Vol. 51. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 44, pages 352b-353a.
Translated: Clemens Dutt
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Especially urgent measures must be adopted to speed up the sorting of valuables. If we are too late, they will give nothing for them in Europe and America.
In Moscow, a thousand Party members, etc., can (and should) be mobilised for this work under special control.
At your end, evidently, the whole business is dragging woefully.
Write what extraordinary measures you are taking to speed things up.
 This refers to valuable antiques, luxury articles and works of art that had been nationalised. In February 1919, Maxim Gorky set up a committee of experts in Petrograd to select and value these articles. Up to October 1, 1920, this committee, consisting of 80 persons, had selected, as Gorky wrote, “120,000 various articles” (V. I. Lenin i A. M. Gorky. Pisma, vospominaniya, dokumenty [V. I. Lenin and A. M. Gorky. Letters, Recollections, Documents], 1961, p. 164). This work, however, progressed extremely slowly. On Gorky’s letter, Lenin wrote: “only 8stores out of 33 have been gone through” (ibid.).