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Inside the Hermitage (epa)
August 15, 2006 -- An official at Russia's federal cultural agency said today it could take museums 10 years to complete a nationwide inventory of all their artworks.
President Vladimir Putin ordered the inventory following the theft of 221 items from the famous Hermitage Museum.
Twenty one of the stolen items have been recovered so far.
The cultural agency's head, Mikhail Shvydkoi, said the last such inspection was in 1976.
Coverage of this topic
in Russian from RFE/RL's Russian Service.