18 January 2017 — Press-conference dedicated to the upcoming exhibition `Saint Louis and Relics of the Sainte-Chapelle` took place at the French Embassy. At the press-conference Director General of the Moscow Kremlin Museums Elena Gagarina and President of the Centre des monuments nationaux of France Philippe Belaval signed an agreement on giving on loan the stained glass from the Sainte-Chapelle.
From 3 March till 4 June 2017, within the Russia-France Year of Cultural Tourism, the Moscow Kremlin Museums present the greatest achievements of medieval culture of France at the `Saint Louis and Relics of the Sainte-Chapelle` exhibition which will be held at the One-Pillar Chamber of the Patriarch’s Palace. “This project will open a new bright page in the history of cultural relations between our countries, and we expect it to become a highlight within the Russia-France Year of Cultural Tourism. The relics of national patrimony of France will be transferred from the heart of Paris – the Sainte-Chapelle to the heart of our capital – the Moscow Kremlin,” said Director General of the Moscow Kremlin Museums Elena Gagarina.
“In spite of all political difficulties, the cooperation in the culture field between Russia and France is the model of maintaining relations connecting people and states. The upcoming display at the Moscow Kremlin Museums is absolutely unprecedented,” said Special Representative of Russian President on International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy, “…in my opinion, at times such an exhibition means more than any signed agreement, speech and professions of friendship.” In conclusion he emphasized, “The fact that France gives on loan such kind of treasures to Russia, to the very center of the Russian state – the Kremlin, proves really special relations between our counties.”
Fragments of stained-glass windows of the Sainte-Chapelle, dismounted in the 19th century and stored at the Center for National Monuments of France, will make one of the focal points of the exhibition. “The original stained glass of the Sainte-Chapelle, which was “asleep” in the museum’s depository, will go to Moscow,” said President of the Center for National Monuments of France Philippe Belaval. He stressed the fact that the exhibits had never leaved France; moreover, it would be the first time that the reliquary for the Crown of Thorns from the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris leaves Paris.
Elena Gagarina thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and the Ministry of Culture of Russia whose support and mediation made it possible to arrange the exhibition. The Director General also expressed her deep appreciation to all the exponents for sharing the treasures from their collections and emphasized the contribution to maintenance of culture by the general partners of the exhibition – Gazprom and ENGIE.
Among the participants was Minister-Counselor, temporary charge d'affaires of the Embassy of France Frederic Mondoloni, Deputy Head of Department – Directorate Head of PGSC Gazprom Roman Sakhartov and General Delegate at Foundation ENGIE Philippe Peyrat.
The `Saint Louis and Relics of the Sainte-Chapelle`exhibition will be held at the exhibition hall of the Patriarch’s Palace from 3 March till 4 June 2017. This joint international project of the Moscow Kremlin Museums and the Center for National Monuments of France supported by the French Embassy will become the main event of the Russia-France Year of Cultural Tourism. The exhibits are provided by the Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral, State Hermitage, Museum of the Middle Ages – Cluny, National Library of France, National Archives of France, Roger Rodiere Museum, Museum of Arts, History and Archaeology – Evreux, Collection of the City of Poissy.