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Hammer Exhibit Opens At Odessa Fine Art Museum

September 03, 1986

ODESSA, Soviet Union — Dr. Armand Hammer, chairman and chief executive officer of Occidental Petroleum Corp., Monday opened the traveling exhibition of "The Armand Hammer Collection: Five Centuries of Masterpieces" at the Fine Art Museum here.

It is the fourth such exhibition he has opened this year in the Soviet Union since announcing the current U.S.-Soviet art exchange in Moscow last December.

In opening remarks, Hammer said that Odessa, on the Black Sea, has special significance for him because his father was born nearby more than 100 years ago, and because it is the center of Occidental's 20-year fertilizer business with the Soviet Union.

The fertilizer contract, which calls for Occidental to deliver superphosphoric acid to the Soviet Union in return for ammonia, urea and potash, is now in its eighth year.

"It has stood the test of time," Hammer said. "The project continues to run smoothly, to the mutual satisfaction of both sides."

The Hammer collection was last shown in the Odessa Fine Art Museum 13 years ago. The current collection of 127 works contains 26 additions not shown in Odessa previously, including Rembrandt's "Juno," the crown jewel of the collection.

Earlier this year, the exhibition was shown in Moscow, Leningrad and Novosibirsk as part of the U.S.-Soviet exchange announced by Hammer in Moscow on Dec. 13. After Odessa, the exhibition will travel to Kiev and Tblisi.

In exchange, a Soviet collection of 40 Impressionist and early modern paintings opened last week at the Metropolitan Museum in New York after successful exhibitions in Washington and Los Angeles.

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