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Culture news, 19.02.2002 16:38

Amber Room mosaic has returned to its place

“Touch and Smell” This mosaic was returned to Russia in April 2000. The panels were accepted by members of the expert council of the Amber Room restoration. Revival of the amber decoration presented by the Prussian king to Peter I in 1716 and lost during German occupation is going at full speed. It became real due to financing by Ruhrgas AG ($3.5m). Opening of the Amber Room will become one of the main event of the St. Petersburg’s jubilee celebration.

The mosaic is situated on the Southern wall of the Amber Room. On a background of antique ruins, the gallant scene allegorically representing two out of five of the human senses - touch and smell - is presented. A young woman sits on stones of a parapet, breathing in the aroma of a flower brought by a young man. With her left hand she supports a basket with flowers resting on a stone nearly. Another couple sitting behind demonstrates the pleasure of touch by gently touching each other.

Two big pedigree dogs smell each other in the foreground; in the background there are large trees and aqua sky. The mosaic is placed in a bronze frame, its corners adorned with bronze twigs with berries made from jewels. Even the list of gems applied shows the uniqueness and complexity of the work of the restorers of the mosaic.

(c) 2000