Putin, Merkel to visit Hermitage 'trophy art' show

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday announced that they would both attend the opening of a Saint Petersburg exhibition including treasures taken by the Red Army at the end of World War II.

German officials had said earlier their visit to the "Bronze Age of Europe -- Europe Without Borders" exhibition at the Hermitage museum had been scrapped due to what German media said was a wrangle over the future of the so-called trophy art.

"In the evening we are visiting the exhibition at the Hermitage. We had not cancelled anything, we just wanted to see if we would have enough time," Putin said at a news conference in Saint Petersburg alongside Merkel.

The German Chancellor added: "We have agreed to go to the Hermitage. It is an important exhibition."