Old Foes Unite to Locate Tsarist Treasures
Seized in WWII

A sample of some of the works of art looted during WWII and returned to Russia in recent years include, from left to right:
(1) A portrait of the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna by her sister, the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna; (2 and 3) Two watercolours of Nicholas II
and his wife, Alexandra by M.A. Zichy; (4) A portrait of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, wife of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, artist unknown.

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Russia and Germany have teamed to search and find thousands of historic artifacts lost over WWII.

“Since 1999, the Russian Culture Ministry has published 50 books of the master catalogue of Russia’s losses. The list of losses is based on data from 1930s-40s,” says the Russian party’s spokesperson, Svetlana Nekrasova, speaking at a new conference in Berlin.

The list of the lost historic objects features some 70,000 items, disappeared from the Soviet museums during the War. The project titled Russian Museums in WWII aims to find and return the lost heritage back to Russia.

The project comes as part of a so-called Russian-German museum dialogue, launched several years ago by the Germans. The scientific work group will include historians from Russian cities of Novgorod, Pskov, St. Petersburg and Peterhof, as well as other cities.

Both parties however fear that it will not be that easy to locate the lost items. According to the curator of the project, Professor Wolfgang Eichwede, they doubt that Wehrmacht soldiers documented the confiscated objects.

“Some of the objects were taken out through Riga and Kaliningrad to Berlin and part of them were later transferred to the south of Germany,” Eichwede says. It is very hard to track artifacts after over 60 years, especially considering the fact that now many of them are held in private collections. “That’s why this project is so important,” he added.

Source & Copyright: Russia Today
14 March, 2012