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    NEW YORK CITY, FEBRUARY 4, 2004, RIA Novosti - Russian businessman Viktor Wexelberg has purchased an authentic Faberge jewelry collection from the family of the media tycoon Forbes, the international auctioneer Sotheby's reports.

    The 180-item collection includes nine Easter eggs commissioned to the celebrated jeweler Peter Carl Faberge by the Russian Imperial House. One of these is the famous coronation egg that Emperor Nicholas II offered to his spouse, Alexandra Fyodorovna, to mark his ascension to the throne in 1897. Its value is estimated at 18 to 24 million dollars.

    Before striking the deal with the Russian entrepreneur, the Forbes family planned to put the collection up for sale at Sotheby's auction this next April, with a starting price of $90 million. Wexelberg says he will bring the Faberges back to their country of origin.

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