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Russia admits hiding treasures

BERLIN - Russia admitted yesterday that parts of the dazzling treasures of Troy which vanished from Berlin in 1945 are hidden near Moscow, writes Adrian Bridge.

The disclosure came in talks between Russian and German officials in Dresden aimed at paving the way for an exchange of some of the hundreds of thousands of art works both countries stole from each other between 1941 and 1945. The Russian delegation promised lists of exactly what the Red Army plundered from Germany during the final months of the Third Reich. German experts estimate at least 500,000 paintings and precious objects went missing, with the most painful loss being the collection of 8,000 golden objects discovered at Troy by Heinrich Schliemann in 1893.

The Russians, for their part, contend that more than 200,000 priceless art works were stolen or destroyed by Hitler's Wehrmacht.