Emperor Nicholas II Fell Victim to Industry of Lies Topic: Nicholas II
Copyright Notice: The following article was originally published in the July 22nd, 2015 edition of Pravda.ru. The author of this interview Igor Bukker owns the copyright of the work presented below.
The Russian royal family and four of their servants was brutally murdered in July of 1918 in the basement of the Ipatiev house in the city of Yekaterinburg. Pravda.Ru talked about the terrible page in Russian history with Pyotr Multatuli, a historian, author of books about Nicholas II and also a great-grandson of Ivan Kharitonov, a senior cook of the imperial kitchen, who was executed with the royal family.
"Are you a monarchist and an Orthodox Christian? Do you approach the story about the death of the Russian royal family from this point of view?"
"I am an Orthodox Christian, and, of course, I am a monarchist. In political terms, I do not belong to any monarchist party, but I certainly believe that the Russian monarchy was the best form for the Russian government."
"Do you assess the murder of the royal family as a conspiracy?"
"Yes, it was the result of a conspiracy to overthrow the Emperor. But I also approach it as the spiritual impoverishment of the Russian society during those years, when Russia moved away from orthodoxy, faith and dedication. This is one of the reasons why the czar was toppled and then savagely murdered.
"The aim of the ruling circles of Great Britain and certain circles in the United States was to overthrow and kill of the Russian royal family. The Provisional Government was clearly instructed not to let the royal family out of Russia - they did not want the Russian royal family to move to England."
"Was it a betrayal of both a relative and an ally?"
"Of course, it was a betrayal. They betrayed Nicholas II in March 1917 and then betrayed him and the royal family again when they were sent to Tobolsk and then to Yekaterinburg. They knew everything. Representatives of Britain and French consuls were with the Bolsheviks in Yekaterinburg. Their telegrams prove that they were controlling the situation."
"What do you think about the fact that all were opposed to the royal family? Nicholas II wrote in his memoirs that the only person that he could trust was his wife."
"Many people in the emperor's inner circle got involved in the political game, in which they were completely helpless. They were playing and thinking that they could make a Constitution, that they would play some role and preserve their preferences. Of course, they were in collusion with the State Duma, but not as direct conspirators, but as the people who were deprived of a moral compass."
"But executing the whole family is cruel. There had been revolutions before the Russian one, when royal figures would be executed. For example, the wife of Louis XVI was executed. In Russia, was a despicable murder - they killed even those, who chose to stay with the royal family. By the way, your relative, senior cook of the imperial kitchen Ivan Kharitonov - was it his conscious choice to stay with the czar?"
"Yes, of course, it was an absolutely conscious choice. It is generally believed that everyone in the Russian society betrayed the Russian czar - this is a lie. This is an attempt to distort history. Many people were dying for the czar. Basically, the whole story is about the betrayal by the elite. There was no inflation in Russia. Before February 1917, there were no food cards in Russia. In Germany and France, people were starving at that time. All these social and economic reasons are given to justify the murder of the royal family.
"There are external forces that participated in the overthrow of the Russian emperor, but the main forces were internal ones. First of all, it was the Russian bourgeoisie - they were unhappy that the government stated controlling their excess profits. There was also the cadet opposition that was craving power. Those forces came into alliance with Western powers and masterminded the February Revolution."
"But the Emperor had his errors. What about the bloody events on January 9?"
"The events on January 9 were nothing but a typical orange revolution, speaking the modern language. The Russian Empire before 1904-1905 was a terribly bureaucratic state. The czar was misinformed. Here was told that there would be a strike of about 120,000 workers. However, as many as 300,000 people took to the streets. It was the crowd that opened fire on the troops first. On the Vasilyevsky Island, there were four-meter barricades of barbed wire erected - it was a very well-prepared rebellion. Roughly speaking, it was a typical Maidan."
"Many discuss such an aspect as the weakness of the czar."
"The czar had a very clear, rigid will. He would not listen to anyone's pieces of advice. He was capable of controlling the influence from the outside. He was just a man who would listening to all very attentively. He would double-check other people's opinions before making his own decisions. There was no external influence. In general, one may say that there was a whole industry of lies created around the name of Nicholas II,
"The forces that came to power as a result of the coup had to justify their legitimacy. They were state criminals, who lived in enemy states during the time of the coup.
"Lenin, for example was residing in Austro-Hungary and then in Switzerland. No wonder Stalin forbade any mentioning of the hideous crime in Yekaterinburg, because he was well aware that it was working against his regime.
"Stalin, too, was building his empire, but it was the empire that did not have anything in common with the Russian Empire. Stalin's empire did not pursue interests of the Russian people. What was the nature of the Russian monarchy? There was God, the czar as the father of the people, and the people were his children, whom he loved, but whom he could also punish."
Crimean Prosecutor Poklonskaya Reflects on Nicholas II and Monarchy Topic: Nicholas II
In her interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda Russian newspaper the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Crimea Natalia Poklonskaya answered the question, why she particularly venerated the Holy Russian Emperor and Passion-Bearer Nicholas II Alexandrovich. She also was asked whether she believed that monarchy would return in the future.
“Indeed it was a flagrant crime when Tsar Nicholas Alexandrovich was dethroned and then all his family was brutally murdered,” said the Crimea’s Prosecutor General. “And what is better and what will be next: a monarchy or a republic—is not my business”.
“One nun had a vision: she was told to go down to the church vault in Kolomenskoye and find a “black board”. She was to wash it “so that it could become red,” and then she would see an image of the Mother of God on it. And indeed, the “Reigning” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos was found in the church vault. That find bore deep significance. Following the murder of the royal family the Mother of God took up governing Russia. In red clothing and with Christ Child in Her arms, She is protecting and guiding our Russia. And may God help Russia to prosper,” said N. Poklonskaya, answering the question.
The “Reigning” Icon of the Mother of God appeared on March 2/15, 1917, in Kolomenskoye village near Moscow (now a famous museum-reserve in Moscow situated in the district with the same name). The Holy Patriarch Tikhon (Belavin) of Moscow (1865-1925) was involved in composing of the service and akathist to this icon.
For more information on the Reigning Icon of the Mother of God, please refer to the following article:
It Was Not the Revolution That Destroyed Emperor Nicholas II Topic: Nicholas II
Emperor Nicholas II and Vladimir Lenin
Copyright Notice: The following article was originally published in the June 10th, 2015 edition of Pravda. The author Inna Novikova owns the copyright of the work presented below. Minor editing by Paul Gilbert.
NOTE: I would like to point out to readers that Pravda (Truth in English) is a Russian political newspaper associated with the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. The newspaper began publication in 1912 and emerged as a leading newspaper of the Soviet Union after the October Revolution. The newspaper was an organ of the Central Committee of the CPSU between 1912 and 1991. Given the Communist Party’s track record on “the truth” gives cause for speculation on anything published in Pravda - PG.
The great Russian Empire found itself in the vortex of the revolutionary abyss in only eight months. Pravda.Ru editor-in-chief Inna Novikova discussed the topic of the fall of the Russian Empire with Associate Professor at History Department of Moscow State University Fyodor Gaida.
IN - Today, there are many people who believe that the tsarist regime fell only because German Emperor Wilhelm II sent Lenin to Russia with a suitcase full of money in a sealed train car. What led Russia to Emperor's abdication, and subsequently to the October Revolution?
FG - There is no documentary evidence to prove that Lenin was working to perform someone's assignment. Having a picture of Vladimir Lenin in mind, one may say that he was acting solely on the basis of his own plans. As for the money, he would take it from anyone. Lenin was an unprincipled man who professed the principle "money does not smell." Another thing is that at that moment in history the interests of Germany and Lenin coincided.
The German authorities thought that such a left radical as Lenin would help break imperial Russia, but would not be able to create anything himself. Germany was playing to weaken Russia to the maximum. Germany needed Lenin and all his slogans to weaken Russia, rather than to overthrow autocracy. Germany was always afraid of Russia. The Germans knew that Russian industry was capable of making a very serious breakthrough. Germany was very nervous.
Actually, Germany went to war in 1914 after it had finished the rearmament program. France was supposed to finish it in 1915, and Russia - in 1917. Time was not working for the Germans. Lenin was the person whose interests coincided with interests of Germany. Afterwards, Lenin continued to adhere to "pro-German" foreign policy. When the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed, the Second Reich got a second wind. Until 1918, German troops attempted to advance on the Western Front, but in August 1918, the Germans gave up. Interestingly, Lenin's attempted assassination was organized in August 1918 too.
The events that happened in Russia in 1917 were two phases of one and the same process.
With the beginning of the February Revolution, Russia started to fall apart. There was no real government in the country at that time. The government that the country had was nothing but a circus.
IN - So the Germans were attracted to Lenin's call about the right of nations to self-determination. What attracted them to that slogan?"
FG - For Europe, with its multinational imperial organization, the practical version of this slogan would mean a new political map of the world and a severe crisis. Suddenly, a man appears on the horizon of political power, who raises its banner of the right of nations to self-determination, land and peace decrees, proclaiming a radical program in essence. The Germans realized that they had to support most radical forces in Russia.
IN - Historians talk a lot about the mistakes that Nicholas II made, about his weaknesses and shortsightedness. Did he have an opportunity to influence the situation?
FG - Let's face it - Nicholas II was neither an outstanding statesman nor a military leader. He was not the wisest of the wise. He was a typical man of his time. He, unlike modern politicians, never gave unrealistic promises. After the defeat in the Russian-Japanese war, Nicholas II became a cautious figure in politics. Russia's foreign policy after 1905 was relatively peaceful. Russia was fighting for zones of influence, realizing that one should not go too far. Just look at the Russian policies in Asia from 1905 to 1912. Russia had seriously expanded its area of influence, without quarrelling with anyone.
After 1905, other prominent figures in Russian politics began to consider themselves wiser than Nicholas II. By February 1917, the political class and generals saw the emperor as the main obstacle on the way of the development of the country.
As a result of this confrontation, the emperor abdicated from power.
The next moment everyone realized that the whole country was based on the emperor. It was the emperor who was the symbol of Russia's unity. As soon as Nicholas II abdicated, all of his opponents vanished. They were removed from the political scene.
Tsar Nicholas II's Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Topic: Nicholas II
The abdication of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia in 1917 brought an end to three centuries of the Romanov Dynasty's rule. After that seminal event, the Bolshevik revolution ensured that Georgy Yevgenyevich Lvov would become the first post-imperial prime minister of Russia. In spite of all this commotion, the last Tsar's most prized limousine stood the test of time and here is that very car.
History tells us that Nicholas II of Russia lost too many battles and made some uninspired decisions during his reign, but we'll let historians decide what is good and what is wrong. This being autoevolution, we decided to showcase one of the Tsar's most prized vehicles.
Nicholas was a big fan of Delaunay-Belleville and Mercedes cars. He had so many cars that in 1910 there were 21 drivers (one for each car) and a budget of 126,000 rubles ($1,260,000 adjusted for inflation) to maintain his garage for the year.
Probably the most beloved luxobarge the Tsar ever owned, this 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is now for sale. A classic car dealership from Mettmann, Germany, wants €6.5 million to part ways with it. That's a truckload of money, the equivalent of $7.22 million or £4.72 million at current exchange rates.
A lot of money is being asked for a purple-painted Rolls-Royce, which was owned by the Tsar for a rather brief period of time before being deposed of it and subsequently murdered in the cellar of a house along with his family. In a way, this Rolls-Royce is a classic car that's been made even more valuable by its famous first owner, not because of the pristine condition of the vehicle.
To make a long story short, after the 1917 revolution the Silver Ghost in the adjacent gallery made its way into the collection of an eccentric American that used the car as an exhibit for Las Vegas' Imperial Casino. Before World War II broke out, John Ringling acquired the car and put it in a nuclear bomb-proof bunker in the basement of a mansion in Germany. Ironic stuff, huh?
The most famous of seven brothers and mastermind behind the Ringling Brothers Circus, John Ringling and his successors took care of Tsar Nicholas II's Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, now in the inventory of Fantastische Fahrzeuge - Michael Fröhlich with 74,881 kilometers (46,528 miles) on the odometer.
The 7,428 cc six-cylinder engine churns out approximately 50 horsepower. It may not be as imposing as Lenin's Kegresse track-converted Silver Ghost, but this purple blast from the past is a collector's dream.
Monument to Nicholas II Unveiled at Livadia on May 19 Topic: Nicholas II
On May 19 a bust to the Holy Russian Emperor Nicholas II was unveiled at the Livadia Palace of the Crimea, reports the KP.RU website. Now this marble monument decorates the entrance to this famous palace which was a favourite summer residence of the imperial Romanov Family until the Revolution of 1917.
It was not a coincidence that the event took place on May 19* since it was the Holy Emperor’s birthday on that day, said workers of the Livadia Palace.
It was the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Crimea (now in the Russian Federation) Natalia Poklonskaya who proposed installation of a bust of the Russian tsar on the territory of the palace. She also was present at the ceremony. Earlier she said that Crimean residents should be aware of historical lessons and remember that Tsar Nicholas II had sacrificed himself and his family to Russia. It is necessary for young people to love, appreciate and defend their native land.
Along with Natalia Poklonskaya, the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (which actually gave the bust to the palace), the Restoration of Cultural Heritage charitable foundation, the St. Nicholas – Berlyukov Monastery (situated in the Avdotyino village near Moscow), and the Crimea’s Council of Ministers took part in the unveiling and creation of the bust.
* There appears to be some confusion in the Russian media lately with regard to the correct date of the last tsar’s date of birth. Nicholas II was born on 6 May, 1868 according to the Julian calendar, which was used in Russia until 1918. Nicholas II was born on 18 May, 1868 according to the Gregorian calendar, which was used in the West and in Russia on 14 February 1918. The Gregorian calendar was 12 days ahead of the Julian calendar during the 19th century. Most modern-day Russian and Western historians, as well as various Russian Orthodox web sites acknowledge that Nicholas II was indeed born on 18 May [O.S. 6 May] 1868 - Paul Gilbert.
Monument to Emperor Nicholas II to be Unveiled Today at Livadia Topic: Nicholas II
The unveiling and consecration of a new monument to Emperor Nicholas II will take place at 1:00 pm today in front of the Livadia Palace, which is situated near Yalta in the Crimea. Russia’s newest monument to the last Russian emperor is the joint efforts of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS), the Revival of Cultural Heritage Foundation, Nicholas Berlyukovsky Monastery and the Council of Ministers of Crimea.
It seems only fitting that a monument should be established in his memory at Livadia Palace, a favourite retreat of Tsar Nicholas II, and his family in the Crimea. The imperial family spent the autumns of 1911 and 1913 and the springs of 1912 and 1914 in the palace, but did not return after the outbreak of the First World War. Nicholas II was forced to abdicate in March 1917. He asked the Provisional Government to allow him and his family to continue to live in Livadia as private individuals, but this was refused. The family were instead, exiled to Tobolsk, and later Ekaterinburg, where they were all murdered in the early morning hours of July 17, 1918.
For more information on the new monument to Nicholas II at Livadia, please refer to the following articles:
Personal Diaries and Letters of Nicholas II Presented at the Presidential Library Topic: Nicholas II
Diary entry of 19 February 1896 on the death of Peter A. Cherevin, who served as Assistant Minister of the Interior
and chief of police. "Unspeakably sorry for him; hard to lose such a loyal and honest friend," wrote Nicholas
To the birthday of Emperor Nicholas II, which is celebrated on May 18, the Yeltsin Presidential Library in St. Petersburg presents unique materials that reveal the tragic events that befell the last Russian autocrat. Diaries and letters of Nicholas II, digitized by the Presidential Library, reflect them.
Nicholas II kept a diary from a young age. His diary archive is 50 voluminous notebooks containing successive records from 1882 to 1918. These records reflect his teenage years, the personality of the future emperor, life of the royal family, the death of Alexander III and major historical events related to the years of his reign. After the shooting of the royal family, the diaries of Nicholas II began actively published.
One of the first such publication was “Diary of Emperor Nicholas II”, released in Berlin in 1923 by the publishing house "Slovo". Fitted with editorial notes and explanatory notes, it is a valuable historical material, which covers the period of the life of Nicholas II from 1890 to 1906.
The book introduction states "the published diary of Emperor Nicholas II should shed a bright new light on the causes of crash, that ended his rule, and find out, how inevitable it was".
Nicholas II led his diary with exceptional accuracy. Basically these are short-mark reports on conducted recently days. No matter how sad or happy events might be: whether the death of his father Alexander III, abdication or, conversely, engagement or wedding - Nicholas II always found a few minutes to make an entry in the notebook. For example, here is an article about the sad death of his father, Emperor Alexander III:
"A day of rest for me - no reports, no reception. At 11 o'clock they went to liturgy, for the first time in our lovely Church. It was sad and hurt to stand in the same old place, knowing that one seat will remain forever empty".
The advent of a new tsar on the throne has aroused great expectations in society. Liberal circles hoped to draw the attention of the young emperor on the need to change domestic policy of the Russian state. However, the first public speech of Nikolai II, uttered them in the Nicholas Hall of the Winter Palace to the deputations of the nobility, the Zemstvos and towns, did not meet their expectations. As you know, the emperor called "senseless dreams" offers of the participation of representatives of the zemstvo in matters of internal management and added that he would "protect the beginning of autocracy as firmly and steadily as it guarded the unforgettable, the deceased parent".
So this event was reflected in the diary of Nicholas II: «Exhausting day! After a short walk I had reports. I was in terrible emotions before to enter the Nikolaev hall, to deputations from the nobility, zemstvo and urban societies, who I delivered speech to".
The emperor Nicholas II’s speech in the Winter Palace was reflected in another valuable historical document, digitized by the Presidential Library - in the "Correspondence of William II c Nicholas II". It contains letters and telegrams of the last emperor of Germany and the last Russian emperor each other between 1894 and 1914. All correspondence between the rulers was conducted in English, in 1923 the selected letters have been translated into Russian and published in Russia.
Since 1904, the letters and diaries of Nicholas II reflect the reaction of tsar to the events of the Russian-Japanese War, the beginning of the revolutionary movement and workers' strikes. For example, the record from January 26, 1904: "After returning home, I received a telegram with the news that night, Japanese torpedo boats fired on the attack stood in the outer roads "Crown Prince", "Retvizan" and "Pallas" and caused them holes. And this is without a declaration of war. The Lord will help us!"
The results of the Russian-Japanese war, the economic crisis and discontent, covered most, have led to an explosion - 9th January 1905 the army and police of St. Petersburg used firearms to disperse a peaceful procession of workers on their way with a petition to tsar. And the "Bloody Sunday" was reflected in the diary of the Emperor: "Sunday! Heavy day! In St. Petersburg there were held serious disturbances as a result of the desire of workers to reach the Winter Palace. The troops had to shoot in different places of the city, there were many dead and wounded. God, how painful and difficult".
By the autumn of 1905 the revolutionary movement reached extreme tension. In late September - early October, in the whole country the railway strike broke out. It stops traffic on the Baltic railway. Communication between Peterhof where tsar lived and St. Petersburg was supported only by steamers. "The communication with St. Petersburg was only by boat, disgraceful position", - so it was described the situation in the country by the last Russian emperor.
The details about the fate of Nicholas II can be found in the electronic collection of the Presidential Library, which is dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the Romanov House celebrated in 2013. The collection includes about a thousand digitized documents, most of which were previously unknown to the general audience.
On This Day: Emperor Nicholas II Born Topic: Nicholas II
Royal Russia Founder Paul Gilbert visiting the monument to Emperor Nicholas II in the village of Tainiskoye in March 2015
On 18th May, 1868, the last Emperor of Russia, Nicholas II, was born in the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo.
It seems only fitting that I write an update on my forthcoming book, Nicholas II: The Rehabilitation of Russia’s Last Tsar, scheduled for publication in 2016.
During my recent visit to Moscow back in March, I traveled by car from my hotel to the village of Tainiskoye which is situated in the district of Mytishchi to visit the magnificent monument to Emperor Nicholas II pictured above.
Mytishchi, which is situated northeast of Moscow is famous for its aqueduct, built in the 18th century by the order of Empress Catherine II. It was the first water supply constructed in Russia to provide the Kremlin with pure water.
The monument at Mytishchi is one of several monuments, busts and memorial plaques dedicated to the last Russian emperor in the Moscow area. It is the most impressive, and one with an interesting history.
The monument was made by the Russian sculptor Vyacheslav Klykov. It was erected in May 1996 near the Church of the Annunciation (1675-1677), to mark the 100th anniversary of the Coronation of Emperor Nicholas II which took place in Moscow in May 1896.
The monument was blown up by left-wing extremists in the early morning hours of April 1, 1997. A second monument was made by Klykov, and consecrated in August 2000.
In the last 24 years, more than 30 monuments, busts and memorials of Emperor Nicholas II have been erected across Russia. The most recent monument was unveiled at Livadia on May 19th. I will dedicate an entire chapter to these monuments in my book, providing interesting details about each, accompanied by photographs which include many taken during my numerous visits to Russia.
For more information on my forthcoming book, please refer to the following links:
Iconic St. Petersburg Museum Houses Gifts to Nicholas II from King of Siam Topic: Nicholas II
The Kunstamera Museum in St. Petersburg houses gifts made by King Rama V of Siam to the future Emperor Nicholas II
Copyright Notice: The following article was originally published in the May 11th, 2015 edition of the Russia Beyond the Headlines. The author Gleb Federov owns the copyright of the work presented below. The article has been edited by Paul Gilbert, Royal Russia
While undertaking his Great Eastern Journey, the man who would become Russia’s last Tsar established links with rulers in many parts of the world, including Siam, where he met the then-ruling monarch, King Rama V. The fifth ruler of the Chakri Dynasty presented the then - Tsesarevich and Grand Duke Nicholas Alexandrovich (the future Emperor Nicholas II) with a few gifts.
The Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which is the complete name for Kunstkamera, houses these gifts: A Lao-style sabre, a Siamese-style sabre, a Malay kris with a blade of meteoric iron and official portraits of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) and Queen Savang Vattana.
The tsesarevich’s Great Eastern journey took place in 1890-91 and included Italy, Greece, Egypt, India, Ceylon, Singapore, Java, Siam, Vietnam and Japan. From Japan the prince travelled to Vladivostok, where he participated in work building the Trans-Siberian Railway and then traveled through Siberia and all through Russia to return to St. Petersburg.
Visit to Siam
Sergei Trifonov, a senior lecturer at the Department for the Far East at St. Petersburg State University, wrote in his book ‘King Chulalongkorn in Russia,’ Nicholas spent five days in Siam from March 19 to 24, 1891. He was accompanied by Prince George of Greece and his retinue, as well as Prince Esper Ukhtomsky, who was a tutor to Nicholas and later wrote a book about these travels.
“The guests arrived at the mouth of Chao Phraya River on the cruiser Azov. Here the prince was greeted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Siam Prince Devavongse and the Minister of the Court Prince Silpakom. The guests were accommodated on the Royal Yacht Apollo and traveled up river to the walls of the royal palace,” wrote Trifonov. In the following days, Nicholas was shown the capital of Siam, the Grand Royal Palace, the Palace of the Second King, the Royal Country Residence, and was also awarded the highest order of Siam, the Most Illustrious Order of the Royal House of Chakri.
Nicholas was also shown the treasury of the Grand Palace, where he was probably presented with the gifts. In Esper Ukhtomsky’s book, there is a list of items. Apart from those already named, Chulalongkorn gave Nicholas a huge pair of ivory tusks, candelabras in the form of birds on a pedestal, a vase supported by three birds, a dinner service on a gold tray, and also two baby elephants, a young panther, two white monkeys, numerous spotted birds and much more. Ukhtomsky wrote in his diary as they departed Siam: “You depart from Siam, as from a dear old friend”.
Gifts for Russia
The treasures were carefully brought to Russia, and in 1894 were included in a large exhibition of gifts made to Nicholas during his eastern tour. The exhibition took place at Tsarskoe Selo, and afterwards the gifts were sorted. So the Lao-style sabre, Siamese-style sabre, Malay kris with a blade of meteoric iron and the portraits were taken to Kunstkamera for storage and the remaining gifts from King Rama V were sent to the Hermitage.
The gifts survived the October Revolution, the fall of the Soviet Union and Russia’s economic decline in the early 1990s, but despite the careful storage (the museum’s curators are extremely delicate in their work) time has not entirely spared the presents. The sabre’s case has cracks, the blades have darkened and the sheath of the Siamese- style sabre has cracked. So the artifacts require restoration, which can only be entrusted to a highly skilled specialist, able to return these valuables to their original appearance.
“To carry out this restoration, we need highly skilled specialists and significant resources,” doctor of historical sciences, Elena Ivanova, 80, told RBTH. Ivanova is responsible for the Thailand collections at Kunstkamera. She has studied Thailand’s ethnography for over 50 years. Despite visiting Thailand only once, she has written an entire series of works on Siam’s history and ethnography.
There has already been one successful attempt at restoring antiquities in Thailand.
For St. Petersburg’s 300th birthday celebrations, the statue of Buddha Maitreya, held at the St. Petersburg Buddhist Temple, was restored in Thailand. The statue was given to the temple by King Rama VI Vajiravudh, for its opening shortly before the October Revolution.
First Russian museum
Last year, Kunstkamera celebrated its 300th anniversary. The museum was founded by Peter the Great in 1714 and became Russia’s first museum. The museum houses a unique collection of historical artifacts from former times, revealing the history and traditions of many cultures. The museum has departments studying the life and people from all over the world: North and South America, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Pacific.
However, the most famous section of the museum is its collection of anatomical rarities and anomalies. The core of the collection was established by Peter the Great, who wanted everything strange and inexplicable to be brought to the museum. He also spent significant sums on purchasing collections in Europe. The Kunstkamera building was completed after his death, and since the beginning of the 18th century has been the symbol of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
For more information on relations between Emperor Nicholas II and King Rama V of Siam, please refer to the article, A True Friend to Russia: Russia's Relations with Siam by Coryne Hall, published in the latest issue of our official magazine.