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The Amber Room
April 23, 2005 8:26 PM   Subscribe

The Amber Room : [flash] Stolen by the Nazis in WWII from the Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Amber Room remains one of the greatest missing treasures of Europe. The room has now been reconstructed, and the search for the original may have come to an unhappy end.
posted by dhruva (15 comments total)

 
Great post. I knew about it from some crappy novel (Berry, I think), but I will certainly browse all this great stuff for a while. What a waste to destroy something like that.
posted by swordfishtrombones at 8:56 PM on April 23, 2005


*eyes amberglow suspiciously*
posted by quonsar at 9:13 PM on April 23, 2005


Oh, WOW. I'd heard of the Amber Room, but not that it had been destroyed. Great post, dhruva.
posted by BoringPostcards at 9:15 PM on April 23, 2005


Interesting (and sickening) how much wealth[1] was destroyed 1940-1945. A large part of the latter half of the 20th century was just getting us back to status quo ante (Parable of the Broken Window). In that respect it's interesting how advanced Europe is over the US in many areas... the colonial powers had a century or three jump on us as far as accumulated wealth tho.

[1] wealth being defined as capital goods, infrastructure, tools, etc, not just trinkets and luxuries.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:33 PM on April 23, 2005


While reading the conspiracy theories found in one of the links, I wondered... what happens when they DO find the original ? Donate the replica ? Burn it ? Sell it at ebay ?
posted by swordfishtrombones at 9:34 PM on April 23, 2005


This,Tales of the amber room ,has a grisly ending
posted by hortense at 10:20 PM on April 23, 2005


swordfishtrombones Why merge them of course! Two Amber Rooms into one!
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:27 PM on April 23, 2005


Since they quoted the Hermitage director at the end of that article, I'll take this opportunity to plug The Russian Ark, one of the most astounding movies I've ever seen. If you read the short IMDB blurb on it, it sounds like it's just a documentary, but it is not. It's flat out incredible.
posted by intermod at 8:08 AM on April 24, 2005 [1 favorite]


I second intermod's enthusiasm about Russian Ark; as for the Amber Room, I must confess I've never seen the appeal. I mean, yeah, it's impressive they carved all that out of amber, but frankly I wouldn't trade a single decent painting for the whole thing. Just one man's opinion.
posted by languagehat at 11:14 AM on April 24, 2005 [1 favorite]


Kuzumov was told by a castle staff member in 1946 that the hall where the stolen room was kept had burned down after Red Army artillerymen occupied the building.

Who was this mysterious staff member and why has he (she?) never said anything to anyone since 1946? Was he (she?) alone in this knowledge?

The conspiracy lives on....
posted by IndigoJones at 11:19 AM on April 24, 2005


The amber room sounds pretty freakin' cool.

I wish I had something more constructive to add, but that's about it. Pretty freakin' cool.
posted by craven_morhead at 4:59 PM on April 24, 2005


Take the virtual tour of the
http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/

Within the gardens are hidden sprinklers that are remotely controlled. IIRC Peter the Great installed them to raise havoc with his guests.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 7:03 PM on April 24, 2005


Take the virtual tour of the
http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/

Within the gardens are hidden sprinklers that are remotely controlled. IIRC Peter the Great installed them to raise havoc with his guests.
The trick fountains are at Peterhof. The Amber room is in the Catherine Palace. The Hermitage is at the Winter Palace in St. Petersberg. Three different palaces.
I second intermod's enthusiasm about Russian Ark; as for the Amber Room, I must confess I've never seen the appeal. I mean, yeah, it's impressive they carved all that out of amber, but frankly I wouldn't trade a single decent painting for the whole thing.
I agree, in general, but, back in the day, amber was a lot more valuable than it is today. Two-hundred years ago, the sheer material costs themselves would have been enough to make one gasp. Oh, and I must agree about Russian Ark.
posted by kickingtheground at 7:17 PM on April 24, 2005


Oops, better go back and reread the posts. I thought that all of the above were within the Hermitage. Thanks for the wake-up call.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 7:50 PM on April 24, 2005


frankly the real appeal of amber to me is the inclusion bit.
posted by dhruva at 7:56 PM on April 24, 2005


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