First ever exhibition of lost and found goods and documents, “Lost Property Office” is held in the Russian city of St.Petersburg. The exhibition is organized by the city center of lost documents and communication facilities (the office where lost documents and goods are stored).
The center is a non-commercial institution that has been working for three years already. It is the only office of lost and found things in St.Petersburg.
This center is particular: it arranges a 10% payment of the value of lost items to those who find the loss and also guarantees confidentiality to these people. Up to 150 people appeal to the center every day. These are usually 100 people who have lost something and 50 people who bring finds to the center. It is funny but employees of the center say that the organization already has its permanent clients, people who regularly lose things. As statistics says, 80% of people coming to the center retrieve lost documents and goods within three days after handing in application on lost items to the center. This effective result was achieved by the center due to its active cooperation with police, taxi drivers, workers of communal services and homeless people. The mechanism of the center’s work proved to be very effective in St.Petersburg; similar centers are soon to be opened in Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and Yekaterinburg. The exhibition demonstrates things and documents recently found in St.Petersburg. These are not only things lost because of people’s absent-mindedness; the exposition also includes such unusual losses as road police batons, albums with old pictures, Ids lost by some citizens from China, Italy, Uruguay, Korea and other countries. There are garlands of lost glasses, bunches of keys and wallets can be measured in centners. Visitors of the exhibition will be able to see a tiny Bible book in the Georgian language, cards of club members, certificates of birth and divorce, passports issued in different periods and places, belonging to people of many races and nationalities.
For example, some family somehow managed to lose documents of all members of the family. Some man lost a copybook with verses and stories he had written within seven years of his imprisonment. The lost and found office also keeps many things that used to be stolen before and then lost once again. Street cleaners and people walking their dogs often bring lost goods to the office; information about lost goods and documents is reported to the center by police officers, from metro, railway stations. Effectiveness of the organization and its work is astonishing! It is often a surprise to discover bank notes even in handbags and wallets that are thrown out by pickpockets after they empty them. It happens that honest citizens bring large sums of lost money. People in the center say that finds flood the center after holidays. “Recently an old lady brought a wallet with money and credit cards. We saw that the woman herself was under strict financial conditions, but being an honest person, she preferred to find the owner of the wallet.” By the way, as it is provided by the Russian Federation Civil Code, a person who finds a lost good must be paid 10% of its value.
If visitors of the exhibition are happy to find their lost things among the exhibits, they will be able to get them back right at the place.