St Pete's palace to house cellist's art treasures

The public is to be given access to the art treasures of cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, who died earlier this year. His unique collection of Russian artefacts is to be put on display in Konstantin palace near St. Petersburg. Russian businessman Alisher

Mr Usmanov said he would donate the collection to Russia, adding that the recently restored Konstantin Palace outside St Petersburg would be the ideal venue.

The art works, which include paintings, ornaments and porcelain, were built up by Rostropovich and his wife Galina Vishnevskaya after they were forced out of Russia in 1974 for sheltering a dissident writer.

Galina Vishnevskaya put the collection up for sale after Rostropovich, a world renowned cellist and composer, died in April this year.

“From the very start our purpose was to keep this wonderful collection of Russian Art whole and to get it back to the country of its origin. We also considered the wish of the owner who wanted to see it displayed in one of wonderful palaces in Saint Petersburg. After consulting with experts we came to the decision to place the collection in the recently restored Konstantin palace as a permanent display,” Alisher Usmanov commented.