Written: Written on October 21, 1920
Published: First published in 1942 in Lenin Miscellany XXXIV. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 44, pages 451b-452a.
Translated: Clemens Dutt
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Comrades Lezhava and M. N. Pokrovsky
I insist that this matter be speeded up to the utmost and a draft decision be submitted to the C.P.C. on Tuesday (26.X):
1) to decide on the sale of these articles abroad as quickly as possible;
2) to require from the People’s Commissariat for Education an official reply before Tuesday, 26/X, as to whether they have any objection (it is said they have already picked out articles for our museums: I agree to let them have only the strictly necessary minimum);
3) to send abroad at once a special commission of experts+ traders, promising them a good bonus for a speedy and profitable sale;
4) as I find the work excessively slow (8 out of 33 ), I consider it absolutely necessary to increase the personnel of the commission of experts (Gorky suggests up to 200 persons) and to give them rations on condition that the work is completed quickly.
 See Note 358.—Ed.
 On October 26, 1920, the Council of People’s Commissars discussed a draft decision on the sale abroad of antiques and endorsed the following decision: = “1) To direct the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Trade to arrange for the collection of antiques selected by the Petrograd Commission of Experts and to fix a bonus for their most rapid and profitable sale abroad. = 2) The question of the quantity and standard of rations for the Commission of Experts to be referred to the Workers’ Food Supply Commission for decision. If agreement with Comrade Lezhava is not reached, the matter to be submitted to the Council of People’s Commissars. = 3) To instruct the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Trade to examine urgently the question of setting up a similar commission in Moscow and, if this is found advisable, to organise it.” = ( Collected Works, Fifth Ed., Vol. 51, p. 462.)
The Commission of Experts recommended sending the well-known antique expert, M. M. Savostin, and the artist I. N. Rakitsky, a member of the Commission, to European markets for antiques—in Paris, London, Florence and Rome—for establishing connections with the leading antique dealers in the West, ascertaining precise prices of antiques, and arranging auctions. __PRINTERS_P_999_COMMENT__ p. 452