Russia opens probe into vandalism of Tsarist fort

Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:47am EST
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VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Reuters Life!) - Russian prosecutors have opened an investigation into disappearing doors and other vintage metal objects wrenched from a Tsarist-era fort in Russia's Far East and sold for scrap.

Regional Senior Assistant Prosecutor Irina Volodina said authorities were investigating cases of vandalism between September and January at the fortress, which is the planned site for the 2012 meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference.

She said the doors, decorations and other metal instruments that adorned the protected historic monument had turned up at a local scrap metal collection site.

Russia's Tsarist-era fortresses were built along its eastern flank to protect the growing Russian Empire as it boosted its presence along the Pacific Ocean and founded the settlement of Vladivostok on the Sea of Japan in the mid-19th century.

(Reporting by Aleksei Chernyshchov, Writing by Thomas Grove, editing by Paul Casciato)