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400th Anniversary
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Monday, 12 March 2012
Precious Antiques at Moscow Auction
Now Playing: Language: English. Duration: 3 minutes, 37 seconds
Topic: Antiques

Moscow has opened its doors to fine art lovers at the bi-annual Russian Antiques Salon. Some rarities on display may cost a six-figure salary, but it is still a popular place to hunt for a bargain or simply to browse.

­For a few days only the Russian Antique Salon, located in Moscow’s Central House of Artists, displays unique examples of paintings and graphics, luxury jewelry and furniture. The organizers promise up to 20,000 items on display for real connoisseurs of antiques. There are 200 participants, mainly from Russian cities, as well as three foreign galleries – from London, Paris and Tallinn.

Some masterpieces are said to have been inaccessible to the public for a century, making the Russian Antique Salon a must-attend event for those who just want to explore antique art.

The Russian Antique Salon is held by the Expo-Park Exhibition Projects Company twice a year in spring and in autumn. It is the biggest and the longest-running event of its kind. The event is on till March 10.

© Russia Today. 12 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:40 AM EDT
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1812 War Museum Restored in Moscow
Topic: Museums

President Vladimir Putin visits the newly restored Battle of Borodino Panorama Museum 

In 2012, Russia celebrates 200 years since its victory in the war against Napoleon in 1812.

A museum devoted to the battle of Borodino, one of the most decisive battles of that war, has been restored in Moscow.

The ceremony of its opening for the public took place last Tuesday.

The museum is a round building which presents a panorama of the battle, with models of soldiers, horsemen and cannons and a painted background.

This background is a canvas 115 meters long and 15 meters high, painted by Franz Roubaud.

Initially, the museum opened in 1912, when Russia was celebrating 100 years since the victory. The last Russian emperor, Nicholas II, held the opening ceremony.

Now, it has taken artists less than half a year to restore Roubaud’s masterpiece.

Besides the panorama which is really impressive, visitors will also see personal things which once belonged to Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov and other heroes of the war.

© TASS. 12 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:32 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 14 March 2012 8:39 AM EDT
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Paul Minet (1937-2012)


Paul Minet with author and royal historian Charlotte Zeepvat 

Paul Minet, whose love and involvement with books which spanned 60 years, has died at the age of 74.

Minet was forced to close his bookshop in Ticehurst, England, last May after 15 years due to ill health. He died on February 6th, after succumbing to an eight year battle with cancer.

He was known throughout the literay world as an expert on rare and antiquarian books. As a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association he was awarded an honorary membership by the group.

He will be particularly remembered by royalty fans for his popular Royalty Digest Magazine which he published between 1991-2005. He also published an exhaustive list of hard cover reprints during this time which included out-of-print royalty books (including numerous titles on the Romanovs), many of which I offered through my online bookshop in Canada.

I met Paul Minet in the 1990s when I travelled from London to visit him at his bookshop in Ticehurst. He made me very welcome and it was after this visit that I launched my own publishing venture on this side of the Atlantic.

We did not always see eye to eye on a number of issues, and had a number of disagreements over the years, however, that does not take away from the fact that I have always held Mr. Minet in the highest regard. He was loved and respected by many and his passing is indeed a great loss to friends, family, and people such as myself whom he inspired.

© Paul Gilbert. 12 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:50 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 12 March 2012 9:57 AM EDT
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Gatchina Remembers Alexander III
Topic: Alexander III

The Russian Imperial family at Gatchina: Emperor Alexander III (with his favourite dog, Kamchatka), Tsarevich Nicholas (the future Emperor Nicholas II), Empress Maria Feodorovna with Grand Duke Michael), Grand Duke George and Grand Duchess Xenia 

This years marks the 167th anniversary of the birth of the Emperor Alexander III. Some years back the palace at Gatchina began an annual tradition marking the Russian monarch's birthday with a series of special events.

This year was no exception. On Saturday, visitors were invited to take part in a special program entitled Alexander III, A View from the 21st Century. A special tour was offered which included a visit to the former apartments of Alexander III and his family at Gatchina. This was followed by a short documentary film about his life. At the end of the program a concert was enjoyed, with music by some of the Emperor's favourite composers, including Liszt, Bizet, Tchaikovsky, Taneyev and Rachmaninoff.

Gatchina served as the official residence of the Emperor Alexander III from 1881 to 1894.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 12 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 2:10 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 14 March 2012 8:40 AM EDT
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Saturday, 10 March 2012
Coronation of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna
Topic: Elizabeth Petrovna, Empress


The Coronation of the Empress Elizabeth Petrovna took place at Moscow on 6th May [25th April O.S.], 1742.

Her Coronation dress and mantle are currently on display at the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoye Selo.

Elizabeth came to power in December 1741 after a palace coup which overthrew the Regent Anna Leopoldovna and the infant Ivan VI. Celebrations marking her accession to the throne lasted almost two months.

A copy of her Coronation Album sold at Christie's for nearly $100,000 USD in June 2009. The album was first issued in 1744 with a circulation of only 600 copies. A further 950 copies were later issued. The album includes 49 prints and is considered one of the finest books of the 18th century published in Russia.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 10 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:22 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 10 March 2012 12:12 PM EST
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Romanov Photo Exhibit Opens in Belgorod
Topic: Exhibitions


A unique exhibition of photographs dedicated to the Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and his wife, th Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna opened this week at the Vitaly Sobrovina Gallery in the Russian city of Belgorod.

The exhibition tells the story of their lives through photographs, including their social activities, and work with various organizations and charities which they were both involved.

The Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich served as Governor of Moscow from 1891 to 1905, when he was murdered by an assassin inside the Kremlin. He is often blamed for the Khodynka tragedy, which cast a dark shadow over the Coronation of Emperor Nicholas II in 1896. Today, many Russian historians are re-evaluating his life, claiming that his negative image was the result of many lies which tarnished his reputation.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 10 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:54 AM EST
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Large-scale Restoration at Peterhof
Topic: Peterhof


Large-scale restoration has got under way in St. Petersburg’s suburb that’s famous for its 18th century unique architectural monuments, Peterhof.

17 gilded statues decorating the Grand Cascade will be restored for the first time outside the open-air museum at a St. Pete restoration workshop boasting the air condition that will help preserve leaf gold for a long time.

The statues are due back in Peterhof by early summer.

© 10 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:36 AM EST
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Mariinsky Palace Church to be Restored
Topic: Palaces

The St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly have announced plans to restore the former church in the city's Mariinsky Palace.

During the Tsarist period it was very common for members of the Russian Imperial family and members of the aristocracy to have a home church, where they could hold services and pray in private.

The Mariinsky Palace was built between 1839-1844 by the Russian architect Andrei Stackenschneider for the Grand Duchess Maria Nicholayevna, daughter of the Emperor Nicholas I. The chapel of St. Nicholas was established in the palace in the middle of the 19th century. After the Revolution, the church was closed and the iconstasis destroyed.

The recreation of the iconostasis will involve master craftsmen in stone and wood carvings, as well as the painting and reproduction of the icons and other paintings. The estimate cost is 28.7 million rubles.

From 1884, the palace returned to Imperial hands. Up until 1917, it housed the State Council of Imperial Russia. Today, the Mariinsky Palace houses the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 10 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:36 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 10 March 2012 7:54 AM EST
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Friday, 9 March 2012
The Holy Royal Martyrs
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 7 minutes, 35 seconds
Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs

The inimitable Zhanna Bichevskaya, a famous bard and folk singer in Russia, sings about the Holy Royal Martyrs in this montage of photographs of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. You do not have to understand Russian to be moved by Bichevskaya's haunting voice.

© Royal Russia. 09 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:35 AM EST
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Volkswagen Funds Hunt for Russian Art Lost in World War II
Topic: Russian Art


Peterhof Palace in 1944, after the destruction by German troops in World War II. The palace is among the museums benefiting from a research project funded by Volkswagen and German government foundations to try to track down art treasures lost in the war.

Volkswagen AG is providing funding of 600,000 Euros ($794,000) for a joint German-Russian research project to track down Russian art treasures lost in World War II, a statement from two state-owned funding bodies said.

Volkswagen-Stiftung, the research-sponsorship arm of Europe’s biggest carmaker, will fund 75 percent of the 800,000 euro costs, with the rest coming from the two German state-owned funding institutions – the State’s Cultural Foundation and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.

Russian museums lost hundreds of thousands of artworks and cultural treasures through plunder and destruction by German troops in World War II. The project will bring Russian and German historians and art historians together to comb the archives of both countries, as well as of the western allies.

“We have high hopes that we will not only gain new historical insights, but will also find traces leading to individual artworks,” the Russian museum curators were quoted in today’s statement. “Despite efforts to register losses and our own research, we still rely on assumptions and speculation. This project is a breakthrough.”

The research begins with the museums of Novgorod and Pskov as well as the royal palaces at Catherine Park, Gatchina, Pavlovsk and the Peterhof Palace, according to the statement.

© Bloomberg. 09 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:25 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 9 March 2012 7:28 AM EST
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