The exhibition Russians in Paris! opened at the Hermitage State Museum on December 6. According to Director of the Museum Mikhail Piotrovsky, this exhibition is the culmination of a large-scale Russian-French cultural programme which is devoted to the 300th anniversary of Saint Petersburg. The first Russian-French exhibition was called Paris - Saint Petersburg. 1800-1830. When Russia spoke French, which was held in Paris in May of this year.
Russian Emperor Alexander 1 and French Emperor Napoleon 1 are at the centre of the exhibition as well as French Empress Josephine who was a friend of the Russian monarch and who gave him a cameo by Gonzaga, now one of the museum's most prized possessions. Some of the Russian emperor's personal items are also on display including his military uniform, made by French tailors. The exposition devoted to the French emperor includes personal belongings from his time in exile on Saint Helena including three books and his death-mask.
'This exhibition is dedicated to the role war plays as a form of communication,' Mr Piotrovsky said.
The exhibition will last until March 7, 2004.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea