Russia to return medieval stained glass windows to Germany

Novosti 5 October 2007

MOSCOW, October 5 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will return to Germany the last six of 117 stained glass window panels taken by the Red Army in 1945 from the church of Marienkirche in Frankfurt an der Oder.

The decision to return the windows, currently being held in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, was made on Thursday in a Cabinet session, the Russian government's press service said on Friday.

In 2002, Russia returned to Germany 111 of the 117 stained glass windows, which had been kept in the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg, under a program on the exchange of looted art.

After the draft federal law specifying the procedure of exchange is approved by the State Duma, the remaining medieval-era windows will be returned to the church in eastern Germany.

Russia has claimed a number of German works of art as compensation for the damage the Soviet Union suffered in World War II, when Nazis blew up Russian churches and residences. One of the most famous objects lost in the war was the legendary Amber Room, made in Prussia in early 18th century, and believed to have been looted by Nazi troops in 1945 in Kaliningrad.
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