Soviet spying tricks are revealed in a new Manhattan museum, which claims to house the "largest KGB spy collection in the world."
The newly-opened exhibition hall is home to KGB weapons, surveillance gadgets and technology which the museum's co-curator, Julius Urbaitis, has gathered after 30 years of research around the world. The exhibit presents a never-before-seen collection of items covering the activities of the Russian intelligence agency and revealing the methods behind many of history's top secret espionage operations.
Up to 3500 original tools and gadgets have been put on display in a former warehouse on 14th Street. Some of the inventions include a shoe brush with concealed camera, a lipstick pistol, a poisonous umbrella, a Fialker cypher machine (similar to the Enigma machine used by German armed forces during WWII), spy radios and various bugs and hidden cameras which could be fitted into all manner of everyday items from rings to tie pins, suitcases, belt buckles, furniture and wallets.
There are propaganda posters and chilling reminders everywhere that despite the Soviet secret police's almost mythical status, it still functioned as an instrument of political suppression and was responsible for notorious incidents of violence. There are four prison doors throughout the museum where visitors can watch videos of a typical day in prison through the hatch and see grim KGB interrogation techniques first-hand.
The collection was put together by Lithuanian scholar and lecturer, Julius Urbaitis who previously opened a similar museum called KGB Bunker in Kaunas, Lithuania. He oversees the New York operation with his daughter Agne Urbaityte.
The museum is located on 245 West 14th Street, New York and is open seven days a week. For more information, see here.