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2 Jun, 2008 01:55

U.S. and Russia swap church bells

Russian church bells that have been ringing out at Harvard University for almost 80 years will soon return to their home at the Danilov monastery in Moscow. Harvard is hosting a bell festival to mark the return and have invited guests from Russia to take

The bells were taken from Russia in the 1930s by the wealthy U.S. philanthropist Charles Crane, who bought them in the Soviet Union at the time of the religious purges.

On Thursday the historic bells will ring in the U.S. for the last time at a graduation ceremony.

Later this summer they will be replaced by a new set made by a Russian foundry under an agreement between Harvard and the Russian Orthodox Church.

The first of 18 bells was replaced last year.