Germany, Russia clash over 'looted art'
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) - The glittering glories of Russia's Hermitage Museum were shadowed Friday by tensions between Russia and Germany over a new exhibit including objects looted by Red Army soldiers after they overran the Nazis.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, visiting the opening of the exhibition with Russian President Vladimir Putin, noted pointedly that some of the items on display had been brought from Germany and "it gives us great happiness that we can see all of them today.
"We will continue dialogue on all questions regarding valuables brought from Germany," she added, according to the news agency Interfax.
The remarks may have been milder than she'd originally intended. Merkel had planned to use her speech at the opening of the exhibition to call for the return of the art in accordance with international law, said German government spokesman Georg Streiter.
Putin, at an earlier news conference with Merkel, hedged on the question of whether Russia would return art taken by the Soviets.
"It's a very sensitive question for the civil society of both sides, I think," he said. "Therefore, if we want to have some kind of movement forward, we shouldn't inflate the problem but search for some path to resolution."
"Now is hardly the time to open the discussion," he said, because there are Russians who are resentful of damages inflicted during the war on Soviet art collections.
The Hermitage exhibition, called "The Bronze Age: A Europe Without Frontiers," includes a renowned collection of prehistoric gold objects found in Brandenburg, Germany, in 1913.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Reserve outfielder Tony Campana supplies spark during D-backs' sluggish start
- Hill, Diamondbacks top Dodgers in extra innings
- Diamondbacks exorcise some demons in win over Dodgers
- D-backs break winless streak, beat Dodgers in extras: By The Numbers
- Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Cody Ross goes hitless in season debut
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB Insider - Thursday April 17Tim Kurkjian talks about the Diamondbacks' tough start to the season.
- Bickley Blast - Thursday April 17Bickley blasts Kevin Towers' philosophy and the need for an analytics GM.
- Derrick Hall, D-backs President and CEO - Thursday April 17Is it too early to make a change?
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Wednesday April 16Can the D-backs weather the storm?
- Jay Franklin, Archie Bradley's agent - Tuesday April 15Archie Bradley's agent clarifies his comments he made while talking to Ken Rosenthal.
- Mike Bolsinger, D-backs pitcher - Tuesday April 15D-backs pitcher Mike Bolsinger talks about his MLB debut.
- Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager - Tuesday April 15D-backs manager Kirk Gibson talks about the team's pitching woes.