It took the FSB about three years to find the sculptures and catch the criminals
The fate of two small bronze sculptures made at the end of the 19th century and stolen from the Stalingrad Battle Museum three years ago is particular. They were brought to Stalingrad soon after WWII. Famous British collector Margaret Westmacott presented them to the Stalingrad Museum as a sign of admiration of Soviet soldiers' courage.
A special session was organized in Moscow's Lubyanka Street dedicated to arrival of the sculptures. Many people gathered especially for the event. Finally, the two bronze sculptures were brought into the hall and displayed to cameras. The sculptures, The Kiss and The Jealousy, lit with dozens of flashes once again emit light. It was just not long ago that the sculptures were deep in the darkness as robbers kept them in a crypt at a cemetery in the Russian city of Volgograd.
Russia's FSB Director Nikolay Patrushev and Minister of Culture Mikhail Shvydkoi came to the session as well to admire the wonderful sculptures.
It took the FSB about three years to find the sculptures and catch the criminals. The special operation involved twenty people. It is astonishing that the theft was trivial: a criminal hid in one of the museum halls after an excursion, then deactivated the alarm and stole the sculptures by Rodin and trophy guns. The criminals expected to advantageously sell the sculptures abroad.
Russia's Minister of Culture Mikhail Shvydkoi told journalists that the wonderful operation might become a plot of a film. "Any theft is always vandalism, but this case is particular. Lady Westmacott presented the sculptures to the Museum as a sign of admiration of Soviet soldiers' deeds in Stalingrad. The sculptures are not just cultural values because Rodin made them; they are also the symbol of memory and admiration of Soviet soldiers' deeds expressed by the whole of the world. That is why we so much appreciate the fact that the sculptures are back."
Picture: The Kiss by Rodin