New museum to open with rich Faberge egg collection

Billionaire Viktor Vekselberg’s collection of Faberge eggs will be open to the public

A museum will open this September in St. Petersburg, where the billionaire Viktor Vekselberg will display to the public his collection of Faberge Easter eggs.

There, visitors will be able to see about 4,000 exhibits from the collection of the Link of Times cultural and historical foundation, which is sponsored by the billionaire’s company.

The Shuvalov Palace, situated in the center of St. Petersburg, has been renovated to house a new museum in St. Petersburg.

The building itself is an architectural monument of the 19th century and a typical example of that eclectic architecture era (characterized by a combination of elements from late classical and neo-renaissance periods).

The palace was inhabited until the October Revolution of 1917; afterwards, it housed the Museum of Royal Court Life until 1925. During the Soviet era, the purpose of this building was repeatedly changed.

Until 2006, the building was occupied by government organizations; however, in 2007, the Link of Times Foundation leased it through 2056.

The palace has preserved its original interiors, fireplaces, woodcarvings and classical molding. The full renovation is to be completed by December 2013.

In 2006, Vladimir Voronchenko, president of the Link of Times Foundation, estimated the cost of renovations at $10 million. Yet, by 2009, the foundation already claimed to have spent about $30 million.

The renovation required investments of more than $30 million, a source close to the foundation told Vedomosti.

In 2006, the foundation announced its plans to open a museum to display private collections in the Shuvalov Palace. According to Andrei Shtorkh, an official representative of the nonprofit Link of Times Foundation, 4,000 exhibits from the foundation’s collection will be presented in the museum.

In particular, the collection of Faberge Easter eggs that Vekselberg purchased from the Forbes family for $100 million in 2004 will be exhibited.

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