Voice from the Commonwealth Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts
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Some artifacts from Captain Cook's treasure have been found in Russia.
The unique stash was presented by Cook's crew to Catherine the Great's representative in the far east of Siberia and has been hidden in secret Russian vaults ever since. For the first time since the explorer obtained the artefacts more than 220 years ago, they have been dusted down and put on display in St Petersburg. The collection includes pictures and souvenirs from the infamous voyage in which Yorkshire-born Cook was killed and possibly eaten by cannibals in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) in 1778.
The circuitous route by which his booty reached Russia was explained by the Russian historians who are now displaying the material.
After his death, they said, Cook's crew headed north to try to find a sea passage linking the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. But they needed repairs and landed on the remote and bleak Russian far eastern coast in the Kamchatka Peninsula. The crew were said to be grateful for the assistance and warm hospitality given to them by the locals and, perhaps in lieu of payment or to show their gratitude, they handed over a wide selection of souvenirs they had picked up from the Pacific Islands. The artefacts were presented to Catherine's commander in the desolate region, Magnus Bem.
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