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    RUSSIAN CULTURE MINISTER WELCOMES PURCHASE OF FABERGE COLLECTION

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    MOSCOW, February 5, 2004. /RIA Novosti/. According to Russian Culture Minister Mikhail Shvydkoi, the purchase of the collection of famous Faberge jewellery by Russian businessman Viktor Vekselberg is 'an important patriotic move".

    "The prominent Russian businessman wants to bring this treasures back to Russia," Shvydkoi told RIA Novosti.

    "This is a normal civilized move showing positive changes in our social-political life," the minister noted.

    According to him, the Russian Culture Ministry played a significant role in this deal. It pressed for the abolition of customs duties on the import of art values.

    The Culture Ministry is ready to add the purchase to state-owned Faberge jewels, Mikhail Shvydkoi said.

    Even if the collection is private property but is widely available, it means that it really returned to Russia, Shvydkoi stressed.

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