Treasures of Russian Tsars in Istanbul

A portrait of Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich is displayed at the "Treasures of the Moscow Kremlin at the Topkapi Palace" exhibition at the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul
Photo: Kremlin Museum

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An exhibition, displaying ceremonial weapons, precious vestments and jewelry belonging to the Moscow rulers, golden and silver items used to decorate their private quarters, as well as state royal regalia, is due to open in Istanbul on March 10th. The exhibition called "Treasures of the Moscow Kremlin at the Topkapi Palace" will last three months.

The display is among numerous international projects the Moscow Kremlin Museums are implementing this year. The first exhibition "Holy Russia" which started in early March in the Louvre, gathered collections of several Russian museums, particularly the most magnificent samples of the old Russian art from the Kremlin Armory Chamber.

The relics of the leading museum of Russia arrived in Istanbul to be displayed together with the Turkish art memorials of the 16th-17th centuries. The major part of the Russian precious items, which once belonged to the Tsars, were created in the Kremlin court workshops and kept in the royal treasury. At present they are kept in the Moscow Kremlin, says the Director General of the Kremlin Museums Yelena Gagarina:

"Love for oriental weapons was always known to be characteristic of the Russian court. A large amount of these were ceremonial weapons were created in jeweler's workshops of Istanbul".

The works by Russian and Turkish masters, exhibited at the Topkapi Palace, were once used in court ceremonies. This implies that the display opens a page in the history of diplomatic and economic relations between Russia and the Turkish Empire in the 16th-17th centuries. According to the Kremlin Museums employees, the exhibition will be therefore interesting for both the wide audience and experts. Among the exhibits are the golden pectoral cross of Tsar Pyotr Alekseyevich, Patriarch Nikon's kaftan made of silk, cotton and Turkish satin, and a golden open-work collar button, incrusted with jewels.

A similar exhibition, "The Treasures of Ottoman Sultans", due to be held in the Moscow Kremlin in late May, is expected to impress Russians with the splendor of Turkish weapons of 16th-17th centuries, precious decorations and vestments. Also displayed will be unique Koran manuscripts and sketches, particularly, the one depicting the Russian Ambassador to Istanbul who served there five centuries ago.

The exhibition runs until June 7th, 2010.

Source: The Voice of Russia
10 March, 2010