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Putin's idea to house Jewish collection rejected

By By FREDERIC J. FROMMER

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S.-based Jewish group is rejecting Russian President Vladimir Putin's suggestion to house a disputed historical collection of books and documents at a Jewish museum in Moscow.

A Washington, D.C., judge has fined Russia $50,000 a day until it returns the documents to the Jewish group, Chabad (khah-BAHD'). Putin floated the idea this week of transferring them to the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center as a way to resolve the impasse.

But in a statement provided Thursday to The Associated Press, Chabad lawyer Nathan Lewin categorically rejects the proposal. Lewin says the only acceptable outcome is for the collection to be returned to Chabad's world headquarters in Brooklyn.

Russia has halted all art exhibit loans to the U.S., fearing they would be seized and held hostage in the court battle.

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