Saturday, 20. December 2014
21. 08. 14. - 17:00
This could turn out to be one of the world's most expensive pedicures after officials at one of Russia's top tourist attractions were told it would cost over 40,000 GBP to remove nail varnish from the marble figure.
The statue of Satyr Playing the Flute is one of the main artworks in the grounds of the Gatchina Palace Museum which was the favourite place to stay of Russian Empress Catherine the Great, who liked it so much that she bought it in 1783 and presented it to her son, the future Emperor Paul I.
But the rare statue in the palace that was regularly visited by many members of the former Russian Imperial family has now been vandalised with nail varnish, and experts say because of the way the varnish reacted with the with the stone it will cost a small fortune to remove.
Museum spokesman Kuzma Boholyubov told local media: "It is really galling because it probably only cost pennies for the small amount of nail varnish that was used, but it's going to cost a small fortune to clean it all off. The minimum charge from professional restorers is 2.5 million rubles (41,420 GBP). But it could be much higher depending of the type of nail varnish that the vandals used.
"One of the problems is that we have a real shortage of CCTV cameras around the grounds, and this needs to be rectified. We could probably have installed as many as we needed for the money is going to take to clean the statue and restore it to its previous condition."
The Great Gatchina Palace was built between 1766–1781 in the town of Gatchina, in Russia's Leningrad Oblast, for Count Grigori Grigoryevich Orlov who was a lover of Catherine II. Catherine took it over on his death and loved it in particular for its views above Lake Serebryannoe.
Nicholas II, the last Russian tsar, spent his youth in the Gatchina Palace, although he and his family would make Tsarskoye Selo his home. His mother, Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, widow of Alexander III, was the patron of the city of Gatchina and Gatchina Palace and parks.
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