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Messages - Robert Wisener, PA

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News Links / Jewelry stolen from State Hermitage Museum
« on: August 02, 2006, 11:23:31 AM »
From Novosti: Aug. 1, 2006

Jewelry theft from St. Petersburg Hermitage took years -director
Print version

ST. PETERSBURG, August 1 (RIA Novosti) - The theft of millions of dollars worth of jewelry from St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum was probably carried out over a period of several years, the museum's director said Tuesday.

The loss of 221 jewelry items, most of which were enamels, from storage in the Russian section of the Hermitage, to the value of 130 million rubles ($4.8 million), was discovered after a regular inspection and announced Monday.

Mikhail Piotrovsky said, "I think it took several years to steal the items," but said the circumstances were unclear. The stolen items were Russian art from the Middle Ages and the 19th century.

"It is clear that without the cooperation of museum staff, this could not have happened," he said.

The director said a regular inspection of museum items had begun in mid-2005, and the curator of the collection had died in October, after which the collection was handed over to a new curator. He added that three or four museum employees usually had access to storage.

Police said a group of investigators was working at the scene, but no criminal proceedings had been initiated yet. "The items may have been removed to other storages without making corresponding records. In any event, it is premature to speak of criminal intent," a police spokesman said.

The Russian section of the Hermitage contains over 300,000 works of art from Russia's thousand-year history. The museum, comprising six buildings, has one of the world's largest art collections.


Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / Re: Exhibition Catalogues
« on: November 28, 2005, 12:00:51 PM »
by Scottish & Newcastle (Collaborator), Clarocada Russia (Collaborator)

Has anyone seen or read this book.  It looks like it's the exhibition book from Scotland but I'm wondering if this is the same exhibition that toured the US-- Newark, NJ, Cincinnatti, OH etc.  I bought the exhibition book in Newark and am interested in adding this to my christmas list if the exhibit items are different than the US tour.

Thanks for any help!  

Book Description
This elegantly illustrated and beautifully produced publication is a catalogue of a Royal Museum of Scotland exhibition that opens in July of 2005 and promises to be "one of the finest cultural events of the year" in Great Britain. It details the public and private lives of the last of the ill-fated Russian royal family, the Romanovs. The curators selected pieces from the extraordinary collections in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg with its state and personal possessions. These items belonging to Nicholas II, the last Emperor and Czar of Russia, and Czarina Alexandra include rare Fabergé jewelry, medals they displayed in ceremonies, their military uniforms, treasured photographs, porcelain items ranging from ornate clocks to tableware embedded with gold, silver and precious gems, toys their children played with, clothing they wore, great paintings that hung in royal residences, as well as icons and books from the family libraries. When viewed from our perspective, the lavishness of these objects and their lifestyle followed by the bleak events of the Russian Revolution serve as a potent history lesson. Chapters on the St. Petersburg palaces, Nicholas’ coronation and on Russia during his reign make for engaging reading.

Forum Announcements / Re: Where do you come from?
« on: August 09, 2005, 08:14:10 PM »
Living in Erie, PA in northwest PA.  Lived in State College, PA and Buffalo, NY for school.  Then lived in Pittsburgh and Albany, NY.  If anyone's in the area let me know.  Would love to grab coffee with a fellow Romonophile.

Having Fun! / Re: Whom would you cast for an "Ella" mo
« on: April 21, 2005, 06:52:49 PM »
I think Annette Bening would do well as Ella.  Sophisticated, beautiful, and talented.  

Serge, I'd go with Jeremy Irons too.

Maria Nicholaievna / Re: Who was she closest to?
« on: March 23, 2005, 04:42:45 PM »
I heard she disliked taking walks with her father.

How true is that?


Just kidding.

I'm sure Marie loved both her parents very much and didn't favor one over the other.  I myself, would be hard pressed to determine which parent I loved more--just as parents always say they don't pick favorites among their children.  

Okay, here's my suggestion for the cast.

Nicholas-Robert Redford (Out of Africa)
Alexandra-Meryl Streep (Out of Africa)
Olga N.-Claire Danes (Little Women, Brokedown Palace)
Tatiana N.-Natalie Portman (Cold Mountain, Beautiful Girls)
Marie N.-Mandy Moore (Walk to Remember, How to Deal
Anastasia N.-Jenna Malone (Stepmom, Cold Mountain)
Alexei-Haley Joel Osmond (Artificial Intelligence, Sixth Sense)
Ella- Annette Bening (American President)
Rasputin-Alan Rickman (Harry Potter)
Dowager Marie-Judi Dench

Servants, Friends and Retainers / Re: Mathilde Kschessinska (1872 - 1971)
« on: December 29, 2004, 12:36:22 PM »
Mathilde was quite shrewd.  She knew how to juggle her sugar daddies and keep em' interested.  She must have had something  ;) that kept em' coming.

The Alexander Palace / Re: The Alexander Palace at the Newark Museum
« on: November 16, 2004, 03:10:15 PM »
Hey All:

To be frank, I was kind of disappointed in the exhibition.  I suppose I was expecting something similar to the Broughton Exhibition in Wilmington, DE so I thought I'd be spending all day looking at the exhibition and then another two hours or so in the gift shop...  Not so.

Going through the exhibition (at most) took an hour.  Going through the items in the gift shop (which was severely limited and severly over-priced ($13.00 for a freakin magnet!) took about 20 minutes.  Like AnastasiaFan, I only spent $40...of which I bought the catalog ($25), and 2 hand-painted mouth blown glass eggs ($8.95 a piece).

Not to sound overly negative because I don't want to discourage future exhibitions...but it really wasn't worth the drive...

Just my opinion...was anyone else disappointed?

The Alexander Palace / Re: The Alexander Palace at the Newark Museum
« on: November 10, 2004, 12:01:45 PM »
Hi Guys:

I'm visiting the Newark Museum either on Friday or Saturday.  On Friday, the museum is open from 12:00 to 5:00, whereas on Saturday, its open from 10:00-5:00.  Is five hours enough time to thoroughly enjoy the exhibit and gift shop or should I give myself 7 hours?  I'd rather go Friday, but don't want to be rushed...

Any thoughts?

Happy 105th Birthday Marie!  To think if she would have survived the revolution what great things life had in store for her.  I could see her marrying Lord Mountbatten around 1920 and soon thereafter having loads of children.  She would serve her post gracefully as the wife of a lord but with humor and cheer.  In the end, if she ever made it to 105, she would be remembered as a sweet, beautiful, and honorable woman of the 21st century.  If only her life were not cut so short.

The Final Chapter / Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« on: June 01, 2004, 04:12:52 PM »
I think AnastasiaFan needs to start acting her age and not her IQ.  And since she seems to have problems deciphering jokes, here's a face I hope she understands!   >:(

Have a great day!

The Final Chapter / Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« on: June 01, 2004, 04:05:16 PM »
Wow.  People need to calm down.  Penny-I agree with your position completely and find you to be more knowledgeable about the Romanovs compared to AnastasiaFan.   You've spent countless years (not days or hours) pouring over documents that none of us have ever seen, spent countless hours interviewing those with ties to the Romanovs, and have spent innumerable amounts of blood, sweat, and tears writing a great book "Fate of the Romanovs" and the Atlantis magazine.  Hows that for credentials!  You know the Romanovs, you know Russia.  AnastasiaFan needs to relax and learn how to laugh.  

I found the "Fate of the Romanovs" to be highly thought-provoking and presented new ideas that were gleaned after extensive research.

If I were a Jewish person living in Russia under Nicholas's rule and had a relative who died thanks to the programs, I'd want to see him dead just as much as I'd want to see Hitler burned at the stake.  If I had a child who died during Bloody Sunday, I would want to see Nicholas dead too.  An eye for an eye--that's just human nature to want revenge for years of oppression and intolerance.  I'm very fortunate to live in a time period where government has a responsibility to best serve those they represent--its called accountability.  

The Final Chapter / Re: Romanov Bones
« on: May 18, 2004, 04:04:30 PM »
I know several books have gotten into the condition of the bones (Fate of the Romanovs), but I wonder if autopsy's were ever performed on the remains of the imperial family.  I recall the dental work of Alexandra's as being very expensive whereas Nicholas's dental health was rather poor.  And that they could tell that Nicholas II rode horses often due to the wearing of the pelvic bones.  What else did these autopsys' reveal including cause of death or any other attributing factors.  I also know that scientists were debating whether to do DNA testing on OTMA's remains to see if they were perhaps carriers of hemophilia.  Were any samples saved from the bones so that in the future, if funding should ever become available, they can test the girls remains for the disease?

Maybe I've been watching too much CSI but it would be interesting to see how forensics and the autopsy's revealed who the Romanovs were in life and how they were brutally murdered.

News Links / Re: So THAT'S where "it" is...
« on: May 15, 2004, 08:07:04 AM »
Somewhere in St. Petersburg, the ghost of Rasputin searches the city in hopes of finding his severed penis so he can finally rest in peace.  Now, if only he had the technical ability to search the internet to help him in his quest.  Hopefully he'll meet another spirit who is internet savvy who can guide him to the internet and thus the erotica museum.  But knowing Rasuptin and erotica, I'm sure he knows all about the place and is a frequent guest.

The Imperial Family / Re: Exhibitions
« on: April 15, 2004, 08:11:57 PM »
Oh, and for those on the west coast or for those who just can't wait, the official dates for the exhibit at the Museum of New Mexico are May 29th thru September 5th.  The website for the museum states...

"This remarkable exhibition includes objects from the royal couple’s Faberge collection, exquisite porcelain, tapestry, paintings and portraits, uniforms and dresses, icons, decorative arts, books, photographs and letters. It also includes rare film footage of the home movies taken by the tsar, and family photo albums."

"Toys from the playroom of Tsarevich Alexis that have never before been shown are part of this extraordinary exhibition. Also on display is a suite of child-size Empire furniture from Tsarskoe Selo, the royal family’s permanent residence. Visitors will be taken behind the scenes of the most elaborate court in Europe into the private world of the Romanovs. Most of these artifacts from the Alexander Palace will be seen for the first time. They have come to light recently in the wake of political changes in Russia."

The website for the Museum of New Mexico is

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