The palace of Livadia has launched a comprehensive web site as part of their 100th anniversary. The site is filled with information about the history of the palace, its Imperial residents, and richly illustrated with hundreds of historical and contemporary photos.
The web site is currently only available in Russian, and there are still a number of sections under construction.
“The Sandoz Collection”, an exhibition of the extraordinary holdings of the Swiss family that founded the chemical company of that name at A La Vieille Russie on Fifth Avenue, presents 60 objets d’art.
Dating from 1798 to 1908, the exhibits, which include watches, figures, boxes, peacocks, a bird cage, a pistol shooting perfume and a mirror in four colours of gold, are adorned with rubies, diamonds and emeralds.
Some of the objects are mechanical and musical. Included are Imperial swan and peacock eggs by Peter Carl Fabergé owned by Empress Alexandra Feodorovna and her mother-in-law, Maria, which have never before been seen in public.
Imperial Yacht Standart Exhibit at Livadia Topic: Yachts
An exhibition related to the journeys of the last Russian Imperial family onboard their beloved yacht Standart has opened at the Livadia Palace, situated near Yalta .
According to contemporaries, the Imperial yacht Standart evoked admiration by all who saw or sailed on her, and was hailed as the world's largest and most luxurious yacht of its time.
The photo exhibition shows Tsar Nicholas II and his family during their journeys across the Baltic and Black Seas to visit relatives in Denmark and Britain, or for stays at their residence of Livadia on the sunny coast of the Crimea.
The exhibition is part of the ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the palace, which was built by Krasnov between 1910-1911.
It is important to note that a monument to the Imperial yacht Standart was unveiled at Sevastopol in early October of this year.
Alexander Palace Restorations to Begin in 2012 Topic: Alexander Palace
The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve have announced that the extensive multi-year restoration of the Alexander Palace will commence in 2012.
Earlier this year, the St Petersburg Government’s Cultural Heritage Preservation Committee approved the Prospective Restoration Concept for the Alexander Palace that will allow the museum to receive 700 to 800 visitors simultaneously.
The concept developed by the Studio 44 architecture workshop includes a comprehensive restoration plan which, unlike before, aims to renovate all the palace halls instead of few, reproducing the interior furnishings of the last imperial family’s quarters as closely as their surviving elements and iconographic sources allow.
The first floors of the East Wing (Nicholas and Alexandra’s rooms) and the Suite of State Rooms will house an expanded permanent display, while those of the West Wing will accommodate the Alexander Palace Cultural and Historical Center with public-access stores, a 100-seat lecture hall and other premises.
On the second floors there will be classrooms and computer halls of the Children’s Education Center in the East Wing (former Children’s Rooms), temporary exhibition spaces in the central building, and the museum administration offices in the West Wing. The wings’ attics will hide vent chambers.
Maintenance and service facilities like ticket offices, cloakrooms, lockers, cafés, toilets, etc. will occupy the basement floors, deepened to accommodate all the necessary modern infrastructures with maximum reverence for the historical building.
Faberge Museum to Open in St. Petersburg Topic: Faberge
Peter Carl Faberge
A museum dedicated to the creator of the famous Faberge eggs will open in St. Petersburg's State Hermitage Museum as part of the festivities marking the 250th anniversary of the Hermitage in 2014, museum director Mikhail Piotrovsky said.
The Museum of Peter Carl Faberge, to be housed in a refurbished exhibition hall of the western wing of the General Staff Building, will include works by Faberge and jewelry items from the Hermitage collection. From time to time private collections will also be displayed.
"It will an exhibition of the legendary Russian jeweler and his contemporaries. We will also present contemporary jewelry and workds from precious and semi-precious stones," Piotrovsky said.
JTI Company, a Hermitage sponsor, will provide financial support for the Faberge museum and will also provide assistance in training museum employees.
The General Staff Building is situated directly across from the Hermitage on historic Palace Square, was designed by Carlo Rossi and built between 1819-1829.
Famous Tsarist Battleship Found off Coast of China Topic: Russo-Japanese War
A Russian battleship that was sunk in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 has been found off the coast of China near the city of Lyushun (formerly Port Arthur) by a joint Chinese-Russian expedition, Russian consular official Evgeny Tomikhin said on Wednesday.
“In the course of research of the Lyushun area, using Russian archive material, an object was found which is similar in description to the wreck of the Petropavlovsk,” Tomikhin said.
The wreck is around 90 meters long and 13 meters wide and is located just two meters under the seabed. According to experts’ initial assessments, the wreck is almost certainly that of the Russian Pacific Fleet battleship Petropavlovsk, which went down in April 1904, but further tests will have to be made to confirm the ship’s identity, he said.
Petropavlovsk was the flagship of the Pacific Fleet. It sank after hitting a mine in the Sea of Japan, along with 620 sailors, 29 officers and Admiral Stepan Makarov, as well as the artist Vasily Vereshagin.
The research expedition was undertaken by the Russian Pacific Fleet’s Iskra Research Center and the Chinese State Center for Protection of Underwater Cultural Relics and the Chinese Navy. The research work has been financed by Russian state oil company Rosneft, with the support of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The area where the search has been taking place is close to the main base of the Chinese Northern Fleet, requiring the cooperation and permission of the military and state authorities, Tomikhin said. There are no plans to bring up any objects from the wreck site at present, he added.
Book Taken from the Alexander Palace Returned Topic: Alexander Palace
In September 2011 Don Manuel-Angel Conde Basilio of Malaga, Spain visited St. Petersburg for the first time to honour the dying wish of his father who asked his son to return to Tsarskoye Selo, a book he salvaged from a devastated Alexander Palace in 1943. Back then Fernando Conde Lopez wasa young surgeon of the Spanish Blue Division accompanying the German Army on the Eastern Front during World War II. According to a surgical fieldbook of his hospital at Tsarskoye Selo, which is now in the possession of his family, he operated on both German soldiers and Soviet prisoners.
Fernando Conde Lopez lost one arm during a bombardment and had to return to Spain, thus avoiding the fate of thousands of Nazis who met their deaths near Leningrad. Wandering through the desolate halls of the Alexander Palace before his departure in May 1943, he stepped over some Russian books scattered in dirt and water, when the wind from a broken window turned the pages of one book revealing a picture of Don Quixote, the character familiar to every Spaniard. Fernando brought his weathered find back home with him and inscribed it: "This book was taken by me on 16 May, 1943 from a ravaged library of the imperial palace at Tsarskoye Selo (Russia). F. Conde."
The book which may have belonged to Tsar Nicholas II, was Volume II of the Russian edition of Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote published by N.A. Shigin Publishers in St. Petersburg in 1893. Fernando dreamed of returning it to Tsarskoye Selo, but returning anything to Russian museums was impossible under Franco's dictatorship. The dream of the father was passed down to his son Manuel, who thought of carrying the book to the Soviet consulate in Madrid, but then he was afraid it might up collecting dust on some bureaucrats desk, or in a trash bin, after the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s.
Now retired, Don Manuel has travelled to St. Petersburg together with his children to see the places his father told him about and to return the book to the museum.
Having lost eighty percent of the Imperial library collection during WWII, Tsarskoye Selo treasures each volume regained.