New Traces of Amber Room Found

The Amber Room in the Catherine Palace, Tsarskoe Selo

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Researchers in Russia's exclave of Kaliningrad have recently found several items which support the theory that the famous Amber Room may still be buried under one of the city's fortifications destroyed during World War II.

Experts believe that one of the main findings in subterranean vaults of the old bastions is a metal tablet with the German inscription "Amber treasures," which was used on crates that stored amber from the museum in the Konigsberg Castle during the war.

"The tablet was most likely lost while the Nazi Germans moved the crates through the dungeon," local television reported on Tuesday.

"I know that during the current operation to clear the former fortifications from the rubble we will find other clues that could lead us to the discovery of the places where the treasures were stored or they may be still there even now," said Avenir Ovsyanov, a key expert on cultural preservation in the Kaliningrad region.

The Amber Room is the 18th century chamber of amber panels, which was given by Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm I to Russia's Peter the Great as a gift in 1716.

The six-ton treasure, dubbed the "eighth wonder of the world," decorated with pure amber panels, mirrors and precious stones, was housed at the Catherine Palace near St. Petersburg.

The Amber Room was looted during World War II by Nazi Germany and brought to Konigsberg (Kaliningrad). Knowledge of its whereabouts was lost in the chaos at the end of the war in 1945.

Only two small elements of the room's decoration were eventually rediscovered and returned to Russia.

A partial replica of the Amber Room has been recreated according to available blueprints at Tsarskoye Selo near St. Petersburg.

Source: RIA Novosti
18 August, 2010