Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Exhibition opening overshadowed by diplomatic row

The exhibition Bronze Age. Europe without borders. Fourth-first millenia BC opened last Friday on June 21st. The exhibition is one of the most important museum and research projects of Russia and Germany in 2009-2013 and it closes the Year of Germany in Russia. However, the event of the grand opening has been overshadowed by a diplomatic row between Germany and Russia, with Moscow objecting to Angela Merkel’s plan to use her speech to refer to hundreds of German works of art looted by Red Army soldiers after the war.

Exhibition opening overshadowed by diplomatic row
Golden bowl. One of the items, which were obtained in the result of the Second World War Treasure of Eberswalde [Credit: Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts]
One of the highlights of the exhibition is the Eberswalde Hoard, which consists of 81 ancient gold pieces including plates, rings and ornate bowls that has not been seen in public since the end of the war. The hoard, discovered during an excavation of north-east of Berlin in 1913, was removed from a museum in the German capital by Soviet troops and transported to Moscow as war booty. According to George Streiter, the German government spokesman, the German chancellor had planned to use her speech to call for the return of the art in accordance with international law. Mr Streiter said Russia had cancelled the opening speeches, blaming time constraints, which prompted outrage in the German media.

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