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Amber has long been the inspiration for myths, legends, and tales around the world, but perhaps none is so mysterious and compelling as the story of the amber chamber. According to historians and storytellers, the original amber chamber was a set of amber panels that was given to Tsar Peter I by Prussia's King Friedrich Wilheim almost 300 years ago.
The panels that comprised the amber chamber were reported to be elaborate and beautiful by those who saw them, and they were certainly an attractive spoil of wartime politics. In 1941, the Nazis allegedly stole the amber chamber from a Russian palace, but by 1945 the fate of the amber chamber had already converted into a mystery. No one seemed to know exactly where the amber chamber was, although rumors abounded and continue to provoke interest among collectors, historians, and those with a general interest in amber.
In 1997, one of the original panels of the amber chamber was recovered, but the whereabouts of the remaining panels of the amber chamber remain a mystery. Because the amber chamber was considered a work of artistic value to the Russian patrimony, the Russian government decided to use the recovered amber chamber panel to construct a replica of the original amber chamber. Creating the replica of the amber chamber was no small undertaking. It took more than six tons of amber and the equivalent of more than $11 million to build the replacement amber chamber, which was unveiled in Russia in 2003. Approximately one-fourth of the money that was required to build the amber chamber was provided by the German government. The construction of the new amber chamber is certainly an impressive feat, but it is unlikely to diminish interest in the power of the mystery of the whereabouts of the original amber chamber. Recovering the amber chamber from 1716 remains of interest to authorities and the Russian government, as well as to mystery lovers around the world.
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