Vekselberg's Faberge collection to be displayed in Russia during easter

Viktor Vekselberg, the chief executive officer of Tyumen Oil Company, hopes to hold the first exhibition of his private Faberge collection, now the world's largest private collection, by Easter.

He told reporters about his plans at the opening of the four-day farewell exhibition of the Faberge masterpieces at Sotheby's Auction House in the United States.

"For another month the collection will be in New York," said Mr. Vekselberg who saw his purchase for the first time at the exhibition. "It will take time to complete all of the formalities: to insure the collection, draw up the appropriate documents and receive export-import permits." Then the collection will be brought to Moscow where Mr. Vekselberg hopes to show it to the public by the Easter.

Future exhibitions of the collection are planned in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Tyumen (cities in the Ural Federal District) and Irkutsk (Siberian Federal District), "the first places are in the cities where our company's workers live," said Mr. Vekselberg.

According to him, no decision has been made about the permanent location of the collection. "However, we do not think it is that important," the company head added. "The really important thing is to make it as available to the people as possible." The price of the Faberge collection that Mr. Vekselberg bought last week from the Forbes family, American media magnates, through the mediation of Sotheby's, is a secret. Earlier, the nine Imperial Easter Eggs and the 180 other jewels in the collection were valued by experts at about $90 million.

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