MOSCOW (AP) – The U.S. Ambassador to Russia returned a stolen silver medallion that belonged to the last Russian czar to Moscow Thursday after it was recovered from an online auction by U.S. investigators.
Ambassador John Beyrle said that the recovery of the rare artifact signaled increasing trust between Moscow and Washington.
“This detective story is a wonderful example of successful cooperation, which allows us to improve relations between Russia and the United States,” Beyrle said during a ceremony at his official residence.
The medallion, which bears a portrait of Czar Peter the Great, once belonged to the family of Russia’s last Czar, Nicholas II. It was stolen from the State Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg.
A 2006 check showed that some 200 exhibits, including jewelry and icons worth $5 million, were stolen from Russia’s largest museum. Only 35 have been recovered.
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