TIMELESS ART TREASURES RETURN TO NEW RUSSIA
In the spring of 2004, the dramatic story which had surrounded the Russian Imperial House’s most famous jewelry collection came to a spectacular denouement. For just under a century, the famous Fabergé Easter eggs had been outside Russia, in the hands of oreign owners and museums. But now, incredibly, they are back home in Russia.
The jeweler Carl Fabergé received the first order for an Easter egg from the Imperial Court in 1885 when Alexander III commissioned the first Imperial Easter Egg, The Hen Egg, as a gift for his wife, Empress Maria Feodorovna. Thus began the lovely tradition of giving exquisitely beautiful and original Fabergé jeweled masterpieces for Easter and other special days and events in the life of the Imperial family. The eggs were usually created as a remembrance of significant Russian achievements, and the Emperor gave them as gifts to close family members. The most famous egg, the "Coronation Egg," was given by the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II to his wife, Alexandra Feodorovna, in 1897. The Order of St. George Egg, the last Imperial egg, given by Nicholas II to his mother Maria Feodorovna, is also in The Link of Times Fabergé collection
The exceptionally rare combination of state grandeur, historic and personal drama and sincere human feelings, which is embedded in these exquisite works, ranks the Fabergé eggs as some of the most prized international artistic masterpieces.
Unfortunately, these "lofty matters” did not help keep the eggs in Russia. In 1918 when the collections of the Imperial family were moved to Moscow from St. Petersburg, they comprised forty-two eggs. All of them, with the exception of ten, which remained in the Kremlin's Armory Museum and several others that disappeared, were sold abroad in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
It took decades to recognize the magnitude of the loss of this national treasure and make its return possible.
Today Russian businessmen who have a sense of social responsibility have the opportunity to continue the philanthropic tradition of Tretyakov and Mamontov, Savva Morozov and Vasilii Trediakovskii. Viktor Vekselberg, the founder of the The Link of Times Cultural and Historical Foundation, believes that through the strength and determination of state museums, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian business elite, lost masterpieces of Russian art will be found and returned to the homeland.
The artistic treasures that are the glory and grandeur of Russia and which symbolize its great cultural and spiritual traditions must be accessible to modern Russia.