Saint Petersburg, Oct 11 (EFE).- The Amber Room, Russia’s eighth wonder of the world, marks on Monday 80 years since the Nazis stole the precious work of art from the Russians during the Second World War.
While the search for the lost treasure continues, the replica of the 18th-century chamber, which today sits in the Catherine Palace in the outskirts of Saint Petersburg, attracts tens of thousands of tourists every year.
“They will surely find it, that is my intuition. A work of art of that caliber must have been hidden so well that no one has been able to find until now,” researcher at the Catherine Palace, Larisa Bardovskaya, tells Efe.
The restoration of the artwork, which began in 1979 until 2003, used up six tons of amber from the Baltic coast which, after being cooked and sieved, left 1,200 kilos of glass which make up the 5 millimeters thick mosaic covering the room’s walls.
“What we have now is a 20th-century work of art. The amber gives the feeling that the sun is shining and there are no problems,” Bardovskaya said, referring to the luminosity created by the amber, gems, mosaics, chandeliers and mirrors in the room.
German soldiers stole the artwork in September 1941, leaving only the chandelier and flooring of the room.
But the amber never made it to the Austrian city of Linz, where it was to be displayed in a museum dedicated to Adolf Hitler.
Instead, Germany’s then leading amber expert, Alfred Rode, temporarily kept the treasure in Kaliningrad, formerly Königsberg and now Russian territory.
Bardovskaya believes he hid and locked it away, creating a mysterious legend of The Amber Room.EFE