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Rare Russian medals could fetch thousands at auction

Medal shows the transportation of the granite monolith for a monument of Catherine the Great’s husband, Philip I. Credit: Duke's of Dorchester

A pair of rare Russian medals found in house in Dorset are expected to fetch around three to five thousand pounds each at auction.

The gold collectables date back to the 1700s and are believed to have been struck during the reign of Catherine the Great (1761-1796).

One of the coins depicts the establishment of the Foundling Hospital in Moscow. The auctioneer who discovered the medals, Timothy Medhurst, said that newspaper articles in the years after the site opened reported that up to 40 children per day were admitted to the institution which could hold up to 7000 children.

It is hoped the sale may attract some wealthy Russian bidders keen to purchase historical objects. The items will be sold at Duke's of Dorchester on 12th March.

Medal commemorates the creation of the Foundling Hospital in Moscow which was capable of housing up to 7,000 children Credit: Duke's of Dorchester

Both medals depict important events in the history of Russia - the Foundling Hospital for example, was so important to the country that when Napoleon retreated from Moscow in 1812, he gave specific orders to preserve the building.

To find not one but two medals crafted in gold, an expensive material in which very few medals were ever issued and in this original condition is exceptional.

– Timothy Medhurst, Auctioneer


Authorities tell activists, "You cannot leave Russia"

Russian authorities have told a group of Greenpeace activists and journalists, which includes an environmental campaigner from Oxford, that they cannot leave the country while on bail for protesting against drilling in the Arctic.

Phil Ball, from Chipping Norton, was one of 30 people to be arrested back in September during the protests.

The group, known as the Arctic 30, have all been granted bail but have stayed in Russia as efforts to give them permission to leave are made.

Greenpeace revealed that Russia's Investigative Committee has written to one of the 30 indicating they are not free to leave the country.

VIDEO: Meet the Russian captain stranded due to unpaid bills

They've been stranded on board a cargo ship in Shoreham Harbour for eight months - after the vessel was seized by the UK authorities.

Although the Russian captain and another crewman could leave if they wanted to, they say they fear they won't get the wages they're owed if they do. David Johns has been talking to them about their dilemma.He speaks to Capt Mikhail Polyakov, Rev Roger Stone and Claire Hobart.


  1. Juliet Bremner - ITV News Correspondent
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Friends of Russian tycoon believe he took his own life

Thames Valley Police, who are investigating the death of Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, have said they have no evidence of any third party involvement, which suggests they probably think he took his own life.

Yet they say they still want to talk to close friends and they are accutely aware of all the suspicions that have been thrown up as a result of this untimely death.

But it has to be said most friends do seem to think he probably took his own life. They talk about him being a broken man.

There was one quote which said the Russians didn't need to kill him because six months ago he was devastated by the British courts - a reference to his legal defeat to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

It cost him £70 million. And, perhaps more importantly for a proud man, it shredded his reputation.

  1. National

Boris Berezovsky's body removed from home

Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky was found dead at the property in Berkshire on Saturday. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The body of Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky has been removed from the mansion where he died ahead of a Home Office post-mortem.

Mr Berezovsky's body was removed from his home in Ascot, Berkshire, overnight, Thames Valley Police said.

Police are continuing their investigation into the 67 year old's unexplained death.

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