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Topics - Dominic_Albanese

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All I can say is WOW, things have changed...Lenin must be doing a 360 in his tomb...

The picture is of the famous "brute" sculpture that shows A III on a horse that was so quickly destroyed during the revolution....

A monument to the Russian Emperor Alexander III has been set up nearby the St. Panteleimon Church attached to the Skvortsov-Stepanov Mental Hospital in St. Petersburg.
      The sculpture has been located on the same place where before the revolution a similar massive bust monument to the tsar, peacemaker and the founder of the hospital, used to stand.
      All original photos of the monument were lost, so the sculptor Ivan Itegilov reconstructed it according to the pictures from newspapers of the early 20th century. The monument was restored 70 years after it had been demolished by the Bolsheviks.
      It is the second monument to the Emperor Alexander III in Saint Petersburg: the first one made by Paolo Trubetskoi, was open in 1909 in Znamensêaya Square in front of the Moscow Railway Station, and is presently located in the yard of the Marble Palace.

News Links / Kremlin wives brought to life in new Moscow exhibition
« on: November 18, 2007, 01:48:59 PM »

Kremlin wives brought to life in new Moscow exhibition
Nov 3, 2007

MOSCOW (AFP) — From a sumptuous gown of the last Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna to a peasant-style smock worn by Lenin's wife Nadezhda Krupskaya, a new exhibition on the wives of Kremlin leaders illuminates a turbulent century.

The exhibition, "Russian First Ladies in the 20th Century" -- just opened at Moscow's Museum of Contemporary History -- displays clothes, jewelry, photographs and furniture relating to these women who stood, mostly silently, by their husbands, but also symbolised their times.

"Such an exhibition would have been unimaginable before. Under the tsars these things were kept in the family. Under the Bolsheviks affairs of the heart were not discussed," said Larisa Vasilyeva, author of a book entitled "Kremlin Spouses."

The exhibition starts with a glimpse inside the pampered tsarist household and the life of German-born Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, from early childhood embroidery to an ornate gilded egg given in her name to an injured soldier.

With the imperial household swept away -- Alexandra was shot by Bolshevik agents in 1918 -- the exhibition turns to Soviet first families, starting with the austere Krupskaya.

Her personal effects include a briefcase of letters from her husband, revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin, notable less for their poetic qualities than as political testimony.

Other items in the Krupskaya section include an austere black smock and tough leather walking shoes, as well as reading glasses.

Then there are letters written by brutal Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin to his second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva, and a stiff photograph of the two "relaxing" by the sea, a few years before she committed suicide in 1932.

A sunnier picture emerges with the wife of modernising leader Nikita Khrushchev, Nina.

She is seen revelling in a visit to the United States, while a stylish yellow-trimmed leather suitcase suggests the age of austerity is coming to an end.

"She played with verve the role assigned to her by the Communist party, promoting the image of a highly moral family, one of the 'cells' of society, with a touch of humanity," said Vasilyeva.

The optimism of that age is dimmed however as the exhibition moves to the nearly two-decade reign of Leonid Brezhnev and his wife Victoria, who appears dour and dependable, not least during a visit to a Soviet fashion studio with the wife of Richard Nixon, Pat.

"She knew how to make cakes and jam: such a first lady was needed in a period of stagnation," commented Vasilyeva.

The mood is transformed with the arrival of Raisa Gorbachev, the last Soviet first lady, who manages to steal the show from her retiring post-Soviet successors, Naina Yeltsina and Lyudmila Putina.

A shimmering gold two-piece outfit is one reminder of Raisa's expensive shopping trips during visits to the West -- and why she infuriated rank and file Soviet women struggling with perestroika-era hardships.

The exhibition runs until March 10.

News Links / Russian statue sparks clashes in Ukraine
« on: November 01, 2007, 07:45:48 PM »

Russian statue sparks clashes in Ukraine
Ukrainian nationalists and police have clashed in the city of Odessa at the unveiling of a monument to the city's founder - Russian Empress Catherine the Great.
Hundreds of supporters of patriotic groups across Ukraine descended on the city to protest against the re-erection of a statue that was removed eighty years ago.

The nationalists describe themselves as heirs of Cossacks.  They accuse Catherine the Great of colonising Ukraine, and say her monument is an affront and a threat to Urkainian independence.

Nationalist leader Igor Vardanets says "honouring a woman who enslaved Ukrainian people" isn't right. 

"She made our country a minor part of Russia, and turned Ukrainians into serfs," he said.
Many residents of Odessa, however, have welcomed the statue as a step towards reviving the city’s historic past.

Lieutenant General Sergey Elistratov, the leader of another group describing itself as Cossack, described the protests as hooliganism.

“They broke fences, washed their shoes in the fountain at the Pushkin monument.  They are vandals," he said.

"Today we are here to defend law and order, to defend our city”.

Odessa was officially founded in 1794 as a Russian naval fortress. 

The first monument to Catherine was removed from the city by Soviet authorities in the 1920s. 

As part of a project to revamp the city centre, Odessa Council returned the statue of the Russian Empress back to the square that bears her name.

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News Links / Royal puppets found in Moscow
« on: October 06, 2007, 08:49:44 AM »

October 4, 2007, 13:18
Royal puppets found in Moscow
An old complete set of puppets, which once belonged to the Russian Tsar’s family, has been discovered in Moscow's Puppet Theatre museum.
The set, although on display for many years, had been largely ignored. Guides called it  "The Palace Screen", but no one knew the origin behind the name. Recently, it was discovered that the set was from the Aleksandrovsky Palace, and it belonged to Prince Aleksey - the only son of the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas the Second. 

The puppets resemble some of the Tsar’s family members, while the harlequin's features are similar to those of Rasputin.

News Links / Exhibition - Part II
« on: October 06, 2007, 08:48:22 AM »


In terms of myths that go against Soviet ideology, the exhibition examines in particular detail allegations that Lenin was financed by Germany, which were widely circulated in the summer of 1917 by his opponents and even led to the launch of an official investigation. Caricatures from the period show Lenin as Judas and a rude limerick calls him an "oaf who sold Russia to the Germans."

Several documents are labeled as falsifications -- such as a statement to an investigator by a Russian officer, Yermolenko, in which he said that German intelligence officers promised him that he would become as rich as Lenin if he became a spy.

However, letters between Bolshevik officials talk about the fact that one Karl Moor gave the Bolsheviks around $30,000 in 1917 and chronicle his attempts to get the money back, right up to 1925.

Historian Albert Nenarokov, who is a researcher at the State Archive for Social and Political History, helped put the exhibition together. In a telephone interview on Wednesday, he stressed that questionable donors to political parties are nothing new, and conceded that it was impossible to say for sure that Moor was not an agent of the German government.

"Not all sources are as clean and honest as they could be," he said. However, he stressed that donors did not necessarily give money to create a revolution, but aimed to promote a peaceful end of World War I. Accepting such donations "doesn't mean that the party served the interests of a foreign government," he said.

Nenarokov wrote the text for a coffee-table book about 1917, including documents and photographs, that was first published in 1976. Back then, it was impossible to talk of Trotsky or Nikolai Bukharin as revolutionary leaders, he recalled. In later editions, the control relaxed a little, but it was only in the 1990s that he was able to publish a series of books on the role of the Mensheviks, who are shown in rare photographs at the exhibition.

The exhibition could have included more photographs and background on the people involved, Nenarokov conceded. "Sometimes people don't have enough historical knowledge." A telegram to the Provisional Government after the fall of the monarchy reads, "Can I consider myself a free citizen after 40 years of repression by the old regime?" It is signed Grand Duke Nikolai Konstantinovich, and sent from Tashkent, but the exhibition doesn't give any of the colorful history of this younger brother of Alexander II, who was exiled in disgrace after a scandal involving stolen diamonds and an American adventuress, and subsequently spent years in psychiatric hospitals.

Nevertheless, Nicholas II's personality comes across in haunting photographs from family archives, such as one in which he stares from the window of his royal train in 1916, looking like a prisoner in a cell despite the luxurious setting. In another, he reclines stiffly on the roof of a pleasure boat with his daughter Tatyana, from whose album the photograph comes.

His diary from 1917 lies open at the exhibition at pages that document his torment at the abdication and feelings of betrayal. On March 1, he ended his entry, "Help me, Lord." The next day, he wrote, "My abdication is necessary," but went on to write, "All around is betrayal and cowardice and deception."

Other exhibits give a sense of the thoroughness of Soviet archivists, and their determination to preserve even documents that pictured Bolsheviks in a poor light. Anonymous notes and postcards written to Lenin and Trotsky in 1917 don't mince their words, but have been carefully filed away.

One addressed to Lenin and Trotsky says "Don't bake decrees like pancakes, but feed us with bread," while a note passed to Trotsky at a meeting calls him a "puppy in wolf's clothing." Spoilt ballot papers for the Constituent Assembly give people's opinions of the Bolsheviks. "Mr. Lenin, I don't advise you to leave us your party lists. Your place is in Germany," one writes. "And please pass the message onto Trotsky."

Such documents were carefully filed away, despite the political climate, State Archive director Mironenko said. "To imagine that Russian archives had purges and that documents were destroyed would be totally inaccurate."

"1917: Myths of Revolution" runs to Nov. 11 at the Exhibition Hall of the Federal Archives, located at 17 Bolshaya Pirogovskaya, Bldg. 1. Metro Frunzenskaya. Tel. 245-1925.



A new exhibition by Russia's Federal Archives aims to challenge conventional views on the events of 1917.

By Anna Malpas
Published: October 5, 2007

A letter written in English by Tsarina Alexandra Fyodorovna to her husband, Nicholas II, gives her impressions of the violent demonstrations in Petrograd. "The rows in town and strikes are more than provoking," she complains. "It's a hooligan movement [she writes the word hooligan in Russian], young girls and boys running about screaming that they have no bread ... Then the workmen preventing others from work -- if it were very cold, they would probably stay in their homes."

This letter, written on Feb. 25, 1917, in the midst of events that would soon lead to Nicholas II's abdication, is now on display at the Exhibition Hall of the Federal Archives, which is marking -- but hardly celebrating -- the 90th anniversary of the 1917 Revolution by allowing the public to view scribbled caricatures of Lenin, a heartfelt diary entry from Nicholas II and other documents that build up an unusually ambiguous and multi-layered picture of the revolutionary year.

The exhibition, titled "1917: Myths of Revolution," opened last Friday at the exhibition hall next to the enormous State Archive, housed in a gray building decorated with sculptures of revolutionary figures. The display stands are set up in a claustrophobic zigzag, with the "myths" -- often quotes from one-sided historical sources, such as the Short Course of the History of the All-Union Communist Party of 1938 -- pasted up on red banners.

The first document on display, written in elegant black cursive, is Grand Prince Mikhail Alexandrovich's statement that he would not take the throne offered by his brother Nicholas II on March 2, after he abdicated on the advice of the generals in charge of the Russian forces. This choice of a starting point is no coincidence, the director of the State Archive, Sergei Mironenko, said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

"Everyone overlooks the fact that the monarchy fell because Mikhail didn't take the throne. We started with this document because it gives a very interesting impetus," Mironenko said. As surrounding documents tell the story, Nicholas II's military leaders sent telegrams from the World War I front advising the unpopular ruler to abdicate in favor of his sickly son, Alexei, with Mikhail Alexandrovich acting as regent. But when Nicholas II cut out his son on medical advice, this resulted in an abrupt end of the monarchy that they had spent their careers serving.

The myth tackled here, one that clearly did not originate in the Short Course of 1938, is a popular belief that "the monarchy fell because of the treachery of the generals," Mironenko said, and "that otherwise the monarchy would not have fallen in Russia."

"I want to say that myths have a very strong life force," Mironenko said, listing such unofficial favorites as that the 1917 revolution was bankrolled by Masons, Jews or Germans -- take your pick. "It's another matter that the Soviet ideology led to a very politicized type of mythmaking."
The exhibition quotes such dubious historical facts as the Short Course's statement that the Avrora battleship attacked Petrograd's Winter Palace "with the thunder of its cannons," while in fact only one shot was fired. A photograph shows the resulting damage -- a lampshade hangs askew in a room of the palace next to a hole in the wall, but a china knicknack stands intact on a nearby table.

The process of mythmaking is shown visually in the juxtaposition of two paintings by Konstantin Yuon, showing Lenin speaking at the Extraordinary Session of the Petrograd Soviet on Oct. 25, 1917, when he made his first public appearance after fleeing the city in July. One was painted in 1927 and shows a less polished-looking Lenin with Lev Kamenev, Alexei Rykov and Leon Trotsky in close attendance. A new version, from 1935, shows Lenin attended by Vyacheslav Molotov and Stalin, with the disgraced Bolsheviks erased from the scene.

In the revised version, the crowd changes as well as the political leaders, Mironenko pointed out. "In the first picture, there are Jews, Russians, soldiers, ... In the second picture, they are already a single nucleus, there is almost no difference between their faces."

Gathered for the first time in a large exhibition are drawings by Yury Artsybushev, an artist who sat in on meetings of political parties -- not only of the Bolsheviks -- and drew wicked but lifelike sketches of the prominent speakers. Lenin looks wily and disheveled, a far cry from his later canonic depiction. But the most interesting aspect of the drawings, Mironenko said, is that one figure doesn't appear in any of them -- Stalin -- indicating his minor role in the revolutionary events, which later would be grossly inflated.



How things change.


Grand Duchess will recognize authenticity of royal remains after Russian church

MADRID. Sept 30 (Interfax) - Head of the Imperial Family of Russia Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna hopes that the remains of the family of the last Russian tsar will be found but her attitude to their authenticity fully depends on the stance of the Russian Orthodox Church.

It was announced a few days ago that the first findings of an examination of the remains discovered last summer near Yekaterinburg indicate that there is a high degree of probability that they belonged to Grand Duke Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria shot dead with the rest of the royal family in 1918.

"If the remains prove to be authentic I will be very happy along with all Orthodox Christians because one of my greatest wishes is the invention of the relics of the royal martyrs," she told Interfax on Sunday.

"The current expert study should be absolutely transparent and its results clear to everyone so that there would be left no doubts as it was with regard to the remains discovered in 1979 and buried in St. Peter and Paul's' Fortress," the Grand Duchess said.

She said the stance of the Russian Orthodox Church will be decisive for the Imperial Family.

"If the Patriarch finds sufficient reasons to recognize the remains as holy relics we will also recognize them to be authentic," she concluded. ml

News Links / No red flags, just red carpets, for grand duchess
« on: September 25, 2007, 05:21:09 PM »
Not her best picture (see link)...

Carolyn Webb
September 25, 2007

THE Russian Government does not look like restoring its monarchy any time soon, but one member of the deposed Romanov dynasty is walking and talking like a monarch.

Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna breezed regally through Melbourne yesterday, leading an entourage of more than 20.

The group included a priest, a Russian embassy first secretary and a lady-in-waiting. Then there was an official photographer, a publicist, a handful of local and Russian monarchists and a dozen burly Russian men in black suits.

There was no adoring crowd in sight, nor even a communist objector. But her visit, to mark 200 years of Russian settlement in Australia, is significant in the quest to create a new role for her family. She is touring with the blessing of the Australian and Russian governments — last Tuesday the Russian embassy in Canberra held a reception for her.

In Melbourne, she is staying at Government House and meeting all the right people.

Grand Duchess Maria's grandfather's cousin was Tsar Nicholas II, who was slaughtered with his wife and five children by the Bolsheviks in 1918. The surviving Romanovs fled into exile, and Grand Duchess Maria grew up in Spain.

She is regarded by many monarchists as the head of the Russian imperial family. Educated at Oxford, she speaks six languages, including perfect English, is divorced and has a son, Grand Duke Georgy Mikhailovich.

The first time she set foot in Russia was in 1992 for the funeral of her father, Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, in St Petersburg's St Isaac's Cathedral. It was Russia's first royal funeral service in seven decades. The grand duchess has since returned to Russia about 50 times as relations with the Government thaw. The last time a Russian royal came to Australia was more than a century ago. In 1901, her great uncle, Grand Duke Alexander, attended the opening of Federal Parliament in Melbourne's Exhibition Building.

The duchess seems to be squeezing 100 years' worth of functions into her seven-day Australian visit. Yesterday, Melbourne city councillor Fiona Snedden held a welcoming morning tea in the Town Hall.

A five-car motorcade then drove to Melbourne Cemetery, to pay homage at the restored grave of Alexis Poutiata, who in 1893 was the first imperial Russian consul.

It was then on to inspect the new Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Brunswick, which volunteers have spent 15 years building, with gold plated spires and dazzling icons.

The grand duchess said the monarchy restoration question was something "the Russian people will have to decide for themselves". But she said a monarchy would represent them properly, would be a symbol of stable unity, and a referee at times of crisis. "I do not deal with politics," she said. "My role is purely to pass on to the Russian people the traditions, to bring them back to Russia.

"And being, a little bit, the voice of my people, saying what I think should be done, and helping them morally, to have faith in their future. I think it's a country that for a few years has lost faith and didn't know exactly where to go."

Today, at the Shrine of Remembrance at 11am, the duchess will dedicate a plaque to commemorate the 1000 Russians who fought for Australia in World War I.

She will lunch with Lady Southey at the Myer mansion in Toorak and this afternoon will visit the Russian Welfare Centre in Dandenong.

Last one for today...


Tsar treasures and Arab artefacts from Kremlin museum go on display
By Shireena Al Nowais, Staff Reporter
Published: September 10, 2007, 00:16

Abu Dhabi: For the first time in its history, the Moscow Kremlin Museums is loaning some of its rarest and most precious artefacts to the UAE to be displayed today at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.

The exhibition, which is free and open from today till November 18, is entitled 'The Arsenal of the Russian Tsars: Treasures of the Moscow Kremlin Museums' and organised under the patronage of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

It will contain 16th and 17th century items from the Russian Tsar Courts and work of Persian, Arab and Turkish artists.

According to Dr Elena Gagarina, Director of the Kremlin Museums, more than 100 objects were brought from the Kremlin Museums in central Moscow. Some items, she said, "have been specially selected because of their connection to the region", such as Quranic verses and Islamic artwork.

"Very often plates and gold items were created by the Persians or Turks and taken by the Russians," she said while explaining how the items have come to be with the Kremlin Museums.

"It is truly exciting to be bringing some of our prized collection to the UAE. The Kremlin Museums houses the world's foremost collection of Russian state regalia and many of the items highlight the long-standing relationship between Russia and the Orient."

The most interesting aspect of the museum, she said, is a section containing ceremonial weapons belonging to the Tsars.

Zayed gift

One of the most interesting items, according to Gagarina, is a royal ceremonial helmet, Jericho Cap, made in Istanbul during the late 16th century carrying inscriptions from the Quran.

Another unique item is a sabre and scabbard handmade in the UAE. The sword is a token of goodwill from the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and was presented to Leonid Brezhnev in March 1982 by Shaikh Mubarak Al Nahyan.

Ceremony: Stone laid for Russian Orthodox church

Members of the Russian Orthodox Christian community in the UAE have welcomed the laying of the first stone of their church.

St Philip's Church will be built in Sharjah close to several other churches. St Philip's Church, whose construction will cost $10m (Dh36 million) and is due for completion in 2009, will be the first Russian Orthodox Church in the Arabian Peninsula.

Shaikh Eisam Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Ruler's Office in Sharjah, attended the stone-laying ceremony.

The ceremony was conducted by a senior Russian Orthodox Church minister, the Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kanlingrad Kirill, who is chairman of the foreign relations department of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Father Alexander, parish priest of the Parish of St Philip in the UAE, also took part.

- Daniel Bardsley, Staff Reporter

News Links / Russia - back to a monarchy?
« on: September 15, 2007, 11:09:08 AM »
Discussed in serveral locations on here - but thought you-all might enjoy this most recent article on the subject...


14 September 2007, 15:20
After 90 years of Russia as republic some suggest it should shift back to monarchy

Moscow, September 14, Interfax - The Russian NGO For the Faith and the Fatherland suggests gradual shift to monarchy in Russia.

'The precociously declared Russian republic failed to save our nation from tumult and bloody dictatorship. The modern attempts to replant American or Western European institutions of democracy into the Russian soil will fail too,' the NGO said in a statement received by Interfax on Friday.

'So if we do not want to repeat our history's mistakes, we should stop seeing monarchy as an historical anachronism and reconsider possibilities for gradual passage from republic to monarchy, may be in a constitutionally restricted shape, as a form of government,' they said.

On Friday, September 14, when the State Dume will decide on a new prime minister, the NGO said, there will be 90th anniversary of 'one of the most crucial events in Russian history,' the statement said.

90 years ago the Russian Provisional Government declared Russia a republic. Therewith, the NGO said, the government 'committed a coup d'etat so there is little reason to consider Alexander Kerensky and his clique to be more legal government of Russia than the Bolsheviks who came next,' the statement added.

'Today's Russian elite mentions monarchy only in a historic context with no connection to real life. Yet if we consider realities of the modern Russian politics more carefully, the aforementioned position would not look so strong,' it said.

According to the statement, the modern Russian model of transmission of power rather resembles the system of Emperor Peter the Great, who in turn copied the Roman imperial model. This model may be called 'transmission of power by testament' which of course is not the same as 'transmission by kinship' normally practices in European monarchies and, later, in Russia.'

'However we may be sure that the Russian ruling elite would accept revival of monarchical institutions smoothly,' the statement authors said.

News Links / New Statue to Catherine the Great in Odessa
« on: September 15, 2007, 11:07:00 AM »

13.09.2007 14:48] 

Monument to Russian empress Yekaterina II to be unveiled in Odessa

The monument to Russian empress Yekaterina II will be unveiled in Odessa late in October.

According to an UNIAN correspondent, project customer, Odessa City Council member Ruslan Tarpan and project executor, Restavrator firm representative Serhiy Danylko, claimed this to a press conference today.

S.Danylko specified that the whole territory around the monument will be covered with plates of expensive red granite. The square around the monument will be reconstructed at the expense of R.Tarpan.

Besides, according to S.Danylko, the square will be guarded round-the-clock to prevent damaging the monument by representatives of the Odessa Ukrainian community,  which numbers around 500 thousand people. They believe that immortalizing the memory of the mortal enemy of Ukraine Yekaterina II is similar to “establishing a monument to Hitler in Israel”.

News Links / To Investigate Last Czar's Death
« on: August 29, 2007, 06:13:31 PM »



To Investigate Last Czar's Death
08.29.2007 18:35
 Prosecutors announced Friday that they have reopened an investigation into the deaths of the last Russian czar and his family nearly 90 years ago after an archaeologist reported that he may have found the missing remains of Nicholas II's son and heir to the throne.

The announcement of the reopened investigation signaled the government might be taking seriously the claims made Thursday by Yekaterinburg researcher Sergei Pogorelov.

In comments broadcast on NTV, Pogorelov said bones found in a burned area of ground near Yekaterinburg belong to a boy and a young woman roughly the ages of Nicholas' 13-year-old hemophiliac son, Alexei, and a daughter whose remains also never have been found.

Yekaterinburg is the Urals Mountain city where Czar Nicholas II, his wife, Alexandra, and their five children were held prisoner by the communists and then shot in 1918.

If confirmed, the find would fill in a missing chapter in the story of the doomed Romanovs, whose reign was ended by the violent 1917 Bolshevik Revolution that ushered in more than 70 years of Communist Party rule.

The find comes almost a decade after remains identified as those of Nicholas and Alexandra and three of their daughters were reburied in a ceremony in the imperial-era capital of St. Petersburg.

That ceremony, however, was shadowed by questions raised by the Russian Orthodox Church and others about the authenticity of the remains.

On Friday, a church official voiced what appeared to skepticism about the latest find.

"I have quite serious doubts about these remains. As of today, the most likely (scenario) is that the remains of the czar's family were destroyed by the Bolsheviks," Bishop Mark of Yegoryevsk, deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate's External Church Relations department, said on Channel One television.

Pogorelov, an archaeologist at a regional center for the preservation of historical and cultural monuments in Yekaterinburg, said the spot where the remains were found appears to correspond to a site in a written description by Yakov Yurovsky, leader of the family's killers.

"An anthropologist has determined that the bones belong to two young individuals - a young male he found was aged roughly 10-13 and a young woman about 18-23," he told NTV television by telephone.

Nicholas II abdicated in 1917 as revolutionary fervor swept Russia, and he and his family were detained. The next year, they were sent to Yekaterinburg, where a Bolshevik firing squad executed them July 17, 1918.

Historians say guards shot the royal family and four attendants in the basement of a nobleman's house. The bodies were then loaded onto a truck and initially dumped in a mine shaft but were later moved, according to most accounts.

The Bolsheviks mutilated and hid the bodies because they did not want the remains, especially Alexei's, to become a shrine or rallying point for anti-Bolshevik forces.

Parts of the bodies were exhumed in 1991 - the year the Soviet Union broke up apart - and reburied in St. Petersburg in 1998. But two sets of remains weren't found then: those of Alexei and a daughter scientists believe was Maria.

The Russian Orthodox Church canonized the full royal family as martyrs in 2000. But the church - citing the two missing corpses and questions over whether the bones were actually those of the royal family - chose to scale down its participation in the 1998 ceremony.

According to NTV, a 1934 report based on Yurovsky's words indicated the bodies of nine victims were doused with sulfuric acid and buried along a road, while those of Alexei and a sister were burned and left in a pit nearby.

Experts will conduct molecular and other tests on the new remains, Nikolai Nevolin, a Yekaterinburg regional forensics scientist, said in televised comments Friday.

A representative of the Romanovs, the family whose dynasty was ended by the Bolshevik Revolution, urged caution.

"I will be deeply happy if the remains of (Alexei) and Maria have really been found, but it is always necessary to treat such epochal events with caution," Nikolai Romanov, identified by Channel One as the head of the family, told the station by telephone from Switzerland.

I noticed on tonight's National Geographic Channel TV the following:

9:00 EST "Mystery of the Romanovs"

"When Russia's last tsar, Nicholas II, and his family disappeared almost 90 years ago, eyewitness accounts indicated the family was brutally murdered. Now, the National Geographic Channel takes viewers inside this famous murder mystery. Follow along as forensic scientists attempt to identify remains that were discovered near the possible murder site. Will modern science shed new light on the Mystery of the Romanovs?"



The Yussupovs / Secrets of an Exiled Prince
« on: May 30, 2007, 06:00:27 PM »

Secrets of an Exiled Prince

How did the private papers of Prince Felix Yusupov - mystic, exile and leader of the conspiracy to kill Rasputin - end up in the hands of a Mexican artist?

News Links / Princess Irene Galitzine Dies
« on: October 24, 2006, 06:24:36 PM »


October 22, 2006

Princess Irene Galitzine Dies; Founder of a Fashion House


Princess Irene Galitzine, a descendant of Russian nobility who founded a glamorous fashion house in Italy and popularized ornate pants as evening wear in the 1960’s, died Friday at her home in Rome. She was believed to be 90.

Her death was announced by Angela Savarese, her assistant, who said she died in her sleep. She left no immediate survivors.

Princess Galitzine’s couture collections, shown in a Roman villa, were once praised as the social highlight of the fashion season, and her salon on the Via Veneto was where du Ponts competed with Fords to have first crack at her designs, which often featured a spiral cut. Greta Garbo, whom the princess befriended aboard the yacht of Aristotle Onassis, once appeared at a Galitzine presentation, “although she disliked the crowd,” the princess said.

Her most famous design was the evening pants she introduced in Florence about a decade after starting her company, with styles either slim and embroidered or flowing in gauzy fabrics. Diana Vreeland, in Vogue, called them “palazzo pajamas,” after the setting of the shows in the Palazzo Pitti. (The princess showed her ready-to-wear line in Florence and her couture designs in Rome, when women who bought those clothes routinely went there to find less expensive designs than those shown in Paris.)

Some American designers, notably Arnold Scaasi, Jane Derby and Norman Norell, had already experimented with the idea of fancy dinner pants for women, but it was Princess Galitzine’s appearances in the designs at great society parties that inspired other women to buy them. She said in 1960 that she was deluged with orders even before she showed the look at a fashion show.

“I was one of Emilio Pucci’s best customers, but I got tired of seeing the same clothes I was wearing on other people, so I began making my own things,” she once said. “I put them in my first collection, and everybody went wild.”

The most famous palazzo pajamas of all were the ones worn by Claudia Cardinale in the original version of “The Pink Panther” (1963). They have frequently been exhibited in Italian fashion retrospectives, including one at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York in 1985 and one in Rome this year.

Princess Irene Galitzine was born in 1916 in Tiflis, Russia (now called Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia). Her father, Prince Boris Galitzine, was an official of the imperial guard, and her mother was Princess Nina Lazareff. When she was 10 months old, her family went into exile during the Bolshevik Revolution, moving to Rome, where they bought a house overlooking the Spanish Steps.

The young princess received a lavish education, learning English at Cambridge and French at the Sorbonne. She worked briefly translating English-language film dialogues, but after studying art and design in Rome, she became an assistant, in 1943, to the Fontana sisters, who operated the most successful Italian couture house of the time.

The princess then started a business importing and reproducing French designs, favoring the collections of Balenciaga and Dior. She married Silvio Médici de Menezes, a Portuguese aristocrat, in 1949.

The princess began casually designing evening wear for herself and her prominent friends, including Jacqueline Kennedy and the actresses Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn, and eventually decided to work as a designer. Her first show was in 1959, which was an immediate success. She was not as skilled at running a business, however. The company declared bankruptcy in 1968 and then was resurrected several times by manufacturing companies that produced her designs less expensively and in larger quantities.

In the 1990’s, the princess returned to Russia several times and opened a store in Moscow in 1996. Fashion and home designs are still manufactured under her name under several licenses in Europe.

Her experience was chronicled in a biography, “From Russia to Russia,” published in 1996.

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