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Still Waters

Workers find treasure hoard from 1917

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For years, kopeck-pinching Soviets sat down in a cheap restaurant in a former mansion of the nobility for plain meals, unaware of the treasure secreted nearby.

Workers restoring the building, in St Petersburg, this week finally found it, unexpectedly, in a storage space hidden between two floors - more than 1,000 pieces of jewellery, silver service sets stamped with the name of one of Russia’s most prominent noble families, mirrors and brushes in silver frames.

Many of them were wrapped in newspapers dated from the early months of 1917, as Russia careened toward the Bolshevik Revolution that ended life as the nobles had known it.

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