Cathy, Catherine, (on WP blog too)
I find in general that Armand Hammer knew a great lot about the Imperial Easter Eggs he got out of Russia. No clue who taught him, but most of todays errors originated long after Hammer had sold the Eggs. I do not know if ever the miniatures were removed. I do know however that 10 of 12 of the miniatures are signed by Zehngraf and painters do that usually on the front of their work, however small, so there was no need to dismantle the Egg. PHOTOS of the miniatures were used to identify the buildings.
There is one photo of the Egg still in Moscow, before being sold to Hammer. (that is on my website). For all your other questions, contact the VMFA.