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    ST. PETERSBURG, April 2, 2004. (RIA Novosti - North-west) -- Policemen handed four showpieces, a Saami knife, a handmade peasant firelock, a Turkish yataghan and a Khevsur saber (Khevsuretia is a historic region in Georgia), stolen from a restoration shop to the Russian Ethnography Museum on Friday.

    "This is a highly important event: valuable showpieces have returned to the museum and thieves were detained and will be punished. It will teach a good lesson for them," museum's director Vladimir Grusman told RIA Novosti.

    According to chief of the St. Petersburg criminal investigation department Sergei Prelin, the weapons were discovered in a caretaker's lodge in a house in Petrogradskaya street on March 24.

    "The malefactors were hunting for these very weapons," Mr. Prelin said. At first they were hiding the rarities at one of local motor depots. However, the theft was widely covered in media and they had to hide it in other place.

    The two suspects of the theft were detained on March 25-26.

    Charges against them have been already brought, Sergei Prelin said adding that the mastermind of the crime was declared wanted.

    The stolen showpieces are traditional hunting weapons (the Saami knife and the handmade peasant firelock) and attributes of national man's costume (the Turkish yataghan and the Khevsur saber). The rarities cost $14,000.

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