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Trojan Gold Will Remain in Russia

July 21, 1999

MOSCOW (AP) _ The Trojan gold seized by the Red Army in Berlin at the end of World War II will remain in Russia, a museum director said Wednesday.

Russia’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday struck down parts of a law that prevented the return of art plundered by the Soviet army from Nazi Germany. But it upheld articles saying Russia is not obliged to return the art to governments of ``aggressor nations″ _ meaning Germany and its wartime allies.

The decision means Russia will keep the disputed gold collection, known as King Priam’s Treasure, from the ancient city of Troy, said Irina Antonova, the director of the Pushkin State Fine Arts Museum, Interfax news agency reported.

The collection includes gold crowns with pendants in the shape of idols, basket-shaped gold earrings and a two-handled golden sauceboat.

It has been held at the Pushkin vaults since Red Army art squads seized it in Berlin in 1945. The Pushkin displayed part of the collection in 1996, which incited demands from the German government that the collection be returned.

``We have given back to Germany nearly everything ... and received next to nothing in return,″ Interfax quoted Antonova as saying.

The trove was excavated by German amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann in 1873. He was convinced at the time that it belonged to Priam, king of the city featured in Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad.

The treasure, from the ancient Greek city located in what is now northwest Turkey, has been dated to the Bronze Age at about 2500 B.C., long before Homer’s time.

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