Russian builders labour over Napoleonic relics

6th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

MOSCOW, Dec 6 (AFP) - Some 300 relics of the Napoleonic era, ranging from large canvases to army bulletins, have gone on display here in an exhibition marking the 200th anniversary of Napoleon Bonaparte's coronation as emperor.

MOSCOW, Dec 6 (AFP) - Some 300 relics of the Napoleonic era, ranging from large canvases to army bulletins, have gone on display here in an exhibition marking the 200th anniversary of Napoleon Bonaparte's coronation as emperor.

The exhibits form part of the private collection of building tycoon Viktor Baturin, who invited many of his fellow millionaires in the masonry trade to the grand opening. In a Napoleonic decor, waiters in First Empire-style costumes Sunday served up a banquet that would not have disgraced a three-star restaurant in Paris.

Baturin said he amassed much of the collection over a period of many years in Paris sales rooms, paying as little as EUR 70 (USD 94) for works that later proved to be much more valuable.

Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov and the French ambassador, Jean Cadet, opened the exhibition at the Borodino Panorama museum, which commemorates Napoleon's decisive defeat at the gates of Moscow.

Among the exhibits is the celebrated album of engravings presented by Napoelon to Tsar Alexander 1 during their meeting in Tilsitt in 1807. It was sold by the Soviet Union to France in 1928, and bought back by Baturin.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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