Author`s name Olga Savka

Amber Room Reconstruction in Catherine Palace of Tsarskoye Selo Is Completed

The ceremony of the official opening of the unique Amber Room will take place on June 3
The Expert Council will sign on Tuesday an act on completing the restoration of the Amber Room in the Catherine Palace of Tsarskoye Selo, a former residence of Russian czars near St. Petersburg, Tatyana Zharkova, chief of the press service of the Tsarskoye Selo museum and preserve, said.

The Expert Council includes representatives of the Culture Ministry, the Tsarskoye Selo preserve and the German Ruhrgas company.

According to Zharkova, the experts of the Amber Workshop in Tsarskoye Selo installed the last panel on weekend, and the reconstruction of the Amber Room will be fully completed by Tuesday.

The first people who saw the reconstructed wonder were about 400 WWII veterans and the St. Petersburg residents who had survived the Nazi blockade. They were shown the Amber Room on May 8, 9 and 10. On May 31 it will be seen by the heads of state who will arrive in St. Petersburg for the celebrations of the city's 300th anniversary.

The ceremony of the official opening of the unique Amber Room will take place on June 3. By that day an exhibition devoted to the many years of work to reconstruct the lost Amber Room will have been opened.

The Amber Room (with amber panels decorating the interior) was presented to Russian czar Peter the Great by King Wilhelm I of Prussia in 1716. In 1755 the amber panels were installed in one of the halls of the Grand Palace in Tsarskoye Selo.

During World War II Tsarskoye Selo was occupied by the Nazis and the Amber Room was dismantled and carried away to Konigsberg. Its fate is not known to this day, and the long search for it proved futile.

In 1979 the Council of Ministers of the Russian Federation decided to reconstruct the Amber Room. In 1983 the chief architect of the Catherine Palace, Alexander Kedrinksy, one of the few people who saw the original Amber Room, began working on the project of reconstructing the panels. Reconstruction was performed by experts with the Amber Workshop in Tsarskoye Selo.

The work was funded from the federal budget. During the 20 years of reconstruction work a sum of 7.85 million dollars from the federal budget was spent on the project. In 1999 an agreement was signed, obliging the German Ruhrgas AG company to invest about 3.5 million dollars in the last stage of Amber Room reconstruction.