Giles MacDonogh

A Hidden Place in a Vanished City

The Amber Room: The Untold Story of the Greatest Hoax of the Twentieth Century


Atlantic Books 386pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

THE AMBER ROOM of the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, Russia, is the Loch Ness Monster of modern art history. For the past sixty years the occasional drunk or crackpot has come forward to say he or she has seen it, only to be proved befuddled or mischievous.

The Amber Room, or Bernsteinzimmer, was stolen by German troops in 1941, after they invested Leningrad. Its panels dismantled, it was taken as a trophy to Konigsberg Castle, in the Baltic coronation city of the parvenu Prussian monarchy, and disappeared

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