MOSCOW, June 7 (RAPSI, Lyudmila Klenko) – Ex-director of private non-profit Museum of Russian Icons Elena Knyazeva has pleaded not guilty to failure to return 16 orthodox icons of XVI-XVIII centuries to Russia, a spokesperson of Moscow’s Presnensky District Court told RAPSI on Wednesday.

Knyazeva stands charged with non-return of cultural values to Russia committed by an organized group, the court’s representative Anastasia Pylina added.

According to investigators, Knyazeva has entered into a criminal conspiracy with members of a gang organized by a foreign citizen. On September 30, 2010, she filed a declaration for temporary export of 16 orthodox icons of XVI-XVIII centuries to hold the exhibition “From Russia With Love” in the U. S. In November 2015, the term of temporary export expired but icons have never been submitted to the Moscow Customs.

Knyazeva has been put under travel restrictions.