Russia-Germany row over war loot mars exhibition opening

22 Jun 2013 11:34 AM | Anonymous

Russia-Germany row over war loot mars exhibition opening

Angela Merkel no longer speaking at St Petersburg opening amid rift over plan to refer to German work looted by Red Army

The foot of a sculpture outside the Hermitage museum in St Petersburg where the exhibition is held
The foot of a sculpture outside the Hermitage museum in St Petersburg where the exhibition is being held. Photograph: Yuri Kadobnov/AFP

The grand opening of an exhibition of Bronze Age treasures in St Petersburg on Friday night was cancelled after a diplomatic row between Germany and Russia, with Moscow objecting to Angela Merkel's plan to use her speech to refer to hundreds of German works of art looted by Red Army soldiers after the war.

The spat overshadowed Merkel's visit to Russia after a German government spokesman announced she would return earlier than expected from her one-day trip, apparently over "inconsistencies" in the speeches to have been given by the German chancellor and Russian president Vladimir Putin at a joint opening of the exhibition.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/21/russia-germany-row-war-loot-exhibition

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