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Hermitage Theft Trial Begins

In the latest development related to one of the sorriest episodes in museum history, Nikolai Zavadsky, husband of deceased State Hermitage Museum curator Larisa Zavadskaya, admitted in court today that he and his wife stole 77 objects from the museum’s collection. More than 200 objects from the Department of Russian Culture were discovered missing last summer. Some have since been returned.
Luke Harding reports in today’s Guardian of London that, according to prosecutors, the curator had simply “walked out of the staff exit, apparently unchallenged by security guards.” Mr. Zavadsky’s lawyer said that the objects were sold to buy insulin for the curator, who was diabetic.
The Hermitage’s website provide information about the missing object here (a written list of 226 objects) and here (photographs of 46 objects) but does not identify which ones have been recovered.

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