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Interros President Vladimir Potanin and three other Russian philanthropists received France’s highest decoration, for donating an important collection of contemporary Soviet and Russian art to the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

The ceremony took place on March 23rd at the French ambassador’s residence in Russia.

«We are here because our partnership project is completed with huge success. Contemporary Russian art is on display at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. There can hardly be a better and more prestigious way to show the entire world this page of our cultural history. I’m very proud that I and my colleagues were able to do this," V. Potanin said.

French Ambassador to Russia Jean-Maurice Ripert described the donation as an important and outstanding event, adding that Russian-French relations are based on mutual admiration and respect.

More than 450 Soviet Union and Russian art objects, dated between 1950 and 2000, were collected at the initiative of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation and donated to the Pompidou Centre of modern arts in Paris. Most of the objects were donated by art collectors, artists and their families. Among them, founder of the Yekaterina culture foundation Vladimir Semenikhin; Tsukanov family foundation chief Igor Tsukanov and Multimedia Art Museum chief Olga Sviblova, who was also the curator of the exhibition «Kollektsia! Contemporary Art in the URSS and Russia 1950–2000. A Major Donation».

The entire collection will be on display at the Center Pompidou until April 2. After that, the collection will be included into the permanent display on a rotational basis.