Exhibition Dedicated to Emperor Alexander II Opens in Moscow

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This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2018

An exhibition marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Emperor Alexander II, opened on 3rd April in the State Historical Museum in Moscow.

The exhibition Alexander II. The Liberator, was attended by the Head of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation Vladimir Medinsky. The aim of the project is to present the milestones during the Emperor’s reign from 1855 to 1881, and his tragic fate.

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“Today we have a very important and joyful event, because we are opening one of our most important exhibition projects this year – an exhibition dedicated to the Emperor Alexander II Liberator,” said the Director of the Historical Museum Alexei Levykin at the opening. “Very soon we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of the most outstanding statesmen in Russia.”

Chairman of the Russian Historical Society Sergei Naryshkin noted that Alexander II’s reforms “rightfully placed him in the forefront of outstanding rulers of Russia. The exhibition today in the State Historical Museum reflects the contribution of Alexander II to the development and strengthening of our fatherland,” he said.

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Sergei Naryshkin recalled that the emperor established both the Imperial Russian Historical Society and the State Historical Museum, thereby laying the foundations for historical enlightenment. The 25 years of Emperor Alexander II’s reign have become for Russia “a powerful symbol in all spheres of Russia’s political, economic and social life. He left behind a powerful advanced country with an unquestioned international authority – a country that was really looking to the future,” he concluded.

The exhibition presents a vast array of exhibits associated with the era of the reign of Alexander II, from the collection of the State Historical Museum. Among these are the Emperor’s personal belongings, portraits of the Monarch and members of the Imperial Family, paintings and graphics, as well as documents of his great reforms and the emergence of secret revolutionary organizations.

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The exhibition also includes items from the State Hermitage Museum, the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Reserve, the Egorievsky Historical and Art Museum, and the State Archives of the Russian Federation.

Emperor Alexander II is recognized as an outstanding reformer, initiating a series of reforms which affected all spheres of public life in the country, the main of which was the abolition of serfdom. In addition to his domestic reforms, the reign of the Sovereign was marked by achievements in foreign policy, victorious wars and large territorial acquisitions. There was, however, one territorial concession: in 1867, Russia sold Alaska to the United States. 

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Click HERE to watch a video (in Russian) of the advance viewing for the media, which features many of the items on display.

The exhibition Alexander II. The Liberator runs from 4 April to 15 October 2018 at the State Historical Museum in Moscow 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 5 April 2018