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Russia's lower house of parliament ruled on Wednesday to return
Russia's lower house of parliament ruled on Wednesday to return six stained glass windows to a church in Germany, seized by Soviet troops during WWII.

The State Duma approved the return of the stained glass windows to St. Mary's Church, Marienkirche, in Frankfurt-upon-Oder, which have been housed in Moscow's Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts.

In 2002, Russia returned 111 stained glass panels to the church, which had been stored in the Hermitage, the country's main museum in St. Petersburg. The other six were later discovered in Moscow.

Russia and Germany have pledged to return valuable artworks captured during World War II. The restitution process, however, has proceeded slowly, as many in Russia consider the artifacts are compensation for the country's wartime losses, and both sides are anxious about parity in returning looted cultural objects.

Nazis looted artworks throughout Europe and the occupied parts of the then Soviet Union, secreting many of them into Nazi leaders' private collections. After the war, Soviet security bodies moved to return as many of them as possible also confiscating other cultural objects as military trophies.

The two countries have since made up impressive lists of displaced valuables as part of their restitution pledges. The actual volume of cultural objects looted by Germany and Russia is unknown as many of them were destroyed or stolen by individual soldiers.


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