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spy swap

Russian Spies’ Homes Might Go Up for Auction

When the ten Russian spies left the country last week, they didn't even have time to grab their stuff. According to the Daily News, "Their homes now lie vacant, their clothes still hang in wardrobes, and books and CDs are strewn on shelves and tables as reminders of the lives they once led." So what will become of their copies of Spies Like Us and t.A.t.U. albums on vinyl (we're speculating here)? Or, say, of spy Richard Murphy's Montclair, New Jersey, home, or Vicky Pelaez's Yonkers house, both valued at around $500,000 normally, but likely to fetch a lot more given the high-profile nature of their former occupants? If the FBI decides to seize this property, U.S. Marshals could put it up for auction, and any paying American could sleep where the spies slept: "The crowds at these auctions can almost double [regular auctions]," said Robert Olson, owner of auction house Erkelens and Olson which has handled a number of high-profile U.S. Marshals' auctions. "We use all that hype, especially in a case like this, and have a preview the day before which is kind of infectious, it breeds bidders the next day," he said, adding that "the stashes could fetch high sums due to the notoriety surrounding the spy swap." And if you want to win her heart, keeping in tune with the cinematic feel of these events, perhaps you can buy Anna Chapman's stuff and mail it back to her. [NYDN]

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Photo: Patrick McMullan