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The Long Lost Amber Room Discovered in Poland?

Hand-coloured photograph of the original Amber Room, 1931
Hand-coloured photograph of the original Amber Room, 1931 (Public Domain)

One of Russia's long lost treasures, the precious Amber Room from Catherine Palace, my soon be unearthed by Polish museum officials. Stolen by the Nazis in World War II, the Amber Room may be hidden beneath the ground at a Wehrmacht bunker in Mamerki, in northereastern Poland. 

Bartlomiej Plebanczyk, the head of the Mamerki Museum, told TASS news agency on Monday, that a the former headquarters of Hitler's Wehrmacht in the region may be the hiding place of the legendary treasure. Officials found subteranean chambers beneath the WWII era fortification using ground penetrating radar, which could contain the priceless gold and amber panels of the famous room. Bartlomiej Plebanczyk, elaborated on the current investigation and continued search: 

"An agreement with the local authorities for starting the works is to be signed on Tuesday. It will take two weeks for the decision to come into force. The search operation might start by June 15 if everything went well."

The bunker is located about 62 miles from Russia’s Kaliningrad region, which was the German region of Koenigsberg before and during the war, where the Nazis brought the Amber Room from Russia’s Catherine Palace near St. Petersburg in 1941. In tact for over 200 years, the Amber Room was a gift of King Frederick Wilhelm I of Prussia to Russian Emperor Peter the Great. The room was brought to St. Petersburg in 1717 and was fitted into Russia’s Catherine Palace in the Tsarskoye Selo imperial residence, and was removed totally by the invading Nazis. The whereabouts of the panels have been a mystery to hordes of searchers for the last 7 decades.  

Architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli added gilded carving, mirrors and mosaic panels made of agate and jasper to the room’s interior decoration under the rule of Empress Elizabeth of Russia (born 1709-died 1761), the daughter of Emperor Peter the Great. The Amber Room is considered the "8th Wonder of the World". In 2003, after decades of work by Russian craftsmen and donations from Germany, the reconstructed Amber Room was inaugurated at the Catherine Palace near Saint Petersburg.