For many decades, Russians have been told that “art belongs to the people.” Yet at the same time, millions of exceptional works of art and sculpture, applied and decorative art and pieces of jeweled art were leaving Russia. Many of these works are now the most valuable pieces in top museums throughout the world, while others are in the hands of foreign private collectors. There was no way to prevent the art from leaving Russia. We were consoled only by the knowledge that true art belongs to the history and culture of humanity. Deep inside, however, we believed that ultimately Russian art belongs to the homeland, to the land where it was created.
Fortunately, times have changed. Russia no longer sells off or gives away its cultural heritage; it is learning how to cherish it and to take better care of it. Furthermore, the Russian art treasures that appeared to be irretrievably lost to the West have begun to return home. Some ten years ago I could not have even imagined that the world famous collection by the great Russian jeweler Carl Fabergé would be sold at auction. (The American industrialist Malcolm Forbes amassed the Fabergé works during half a century of collecting.) And I certainly could not have dreamed that I would be the person to acquire this magnificent collection. Nevertheless, the impossible became possible when the largest collection of Fabergé works, among them nine Imperial Easter eggs, returned to Russia.
I would like the works of the jewelry genius Fabergé to be seen by as many Russian people as possible. This is the reason why I founded a cultural-historical Foundation called The Link of Times. The foundation is planning to organize exhibitions of the collection not only in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, but also in other Russian cities such as Ekaterinburg, Irkutsk and Tyumen.
This book is not a catalogue of the purchased collection. It is dedicated to Carl Fabergés life and creative work, and to the unique Easter eggs that immortalized his name.
Much work lies ahead. The goal of the Link of Times Foundation is to search for, acquire and bring back home to Russia historically significant works of art. Alexander Pushkin wrote that Peter the Great “opened a window to Europe.” Sadly, for 75 years it was a window through which masterpieces of our culture left for the West. The time has come to retrieve them...
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
The Link of Times Cultural-Historical Foundation