ST.PETERSBURG (RNWire) - The restored Katalnaya Gorka Pavilion has been unveiled at a ceremony held, June 3 in the Oranienbaum State Museum Reserve (SMR), Saint Petersburg. This 18th century architectural masterpiece has been restored by the Foundation for Support, Restoration, and Development of the Oranienbaum Palace and Park Ensemble. One of this group's founders is Uralkali, Russia's leading fertilizer conglomerate and one of the world's largest potash manufacturers.
The ceremony participants included Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation German Gref, Governor of Saint Petersburg Valentina Matvienko, Chairman of the Uralkali Board of Directors Dmitry Rybolovlev, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Sea Commercial Ports of Russia and member of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Vitaly Yuzhilin, and representatives of large Russian companies and mass media. The Oranienbaum Foundation, established in 2004, was founded by Uralkali and National Container Company. The main idea of the Foundation's founders was to combine efforts of those who cherish Russian cultural heritage. The Foundation's partners include Russian Railways, Transneft, Sea Port of Saint Petersburg, etc. The Foundation Board of Trustees is headed by Governor of the Saint Petersburg Valentina Matvienko.
The Foundation initiated the development of the Oranienbaum SMR Reconstruction Project, under which its first site - the Katalnaya Gorka Pavilion - was restored. This pavilion is one of the most fascinating park buildings in Saint Petersburg's suburbs. In the 18-19th centuries, it was part of the summer-time Riding Hill ensemble designed by the architect Antonio Rinaldi and constructed in the 1762-1774 period. The most valuable feature of the pavilion is its artificial marble flooring, the only one in Europe that came to our days.
This year, the Foundation will proceed with the restoration to involve the pavilion's interior, with the costs estimated at 90 million rubles.
In the course of the ceremony, German Gref and Valentina Matviyenko gave letters of appreciation to leaders of the following companies that support the Oranienbaum Foundation's activity: Uralkali, Bank of Moscow, National Container Company, etc.
Valentina MATVIYENKO, Governor of Saint Petersburg:
- I would like to express my deep gratitude to members of the Oranienbaum Foundation Board of Trustees and leaders of the companies that made their contributions to this noble cause - preservation of our memory, our history, and our cultural and architectural heritage. The Foundation is just making its first steps and the good news is that not only companies but also ordinary citizens of Saint Petersburg have started to contribute their funds. It is not the amount of specific contributions that is important but the fact that the whole city is involved in this noble patronage activity. We intend to actively go on with this work and we'll do everything we can to return this unique architectural ensemble to Russia and Saint Petersburg.
Dmitry RYBOLOVLEV, Chairman of the Uralkali Board of Directors and member of the Oranienbaum Foundation Board of Trustees:
- Uralkali attaches great importance to preservation of Russia's cultural and historical heritage. First and foremost, we help the regions where we operate. The Company has provided funds to restore some churches and monuments in Perm and Berezniki, where our main productive facilities are located. The Baltic Bulk Terminal in the port of Saint Petersburg is the most important transportation point for Uralkali. That is why we decided to contribute to the revival of monuments located in this area. Uralkali participates in the restoration of Oranienbaum, which is one of Russia's and the world's most famous cultural monument of the 18th century included in UNESCO's World Heritage Sites list. Today, due to joint efforts of businesses, governmental authorities, and the public, the citizens of Saint Petersburg and Russia will be able to admire the original magnificence of this architectural creation connected with the names of many outstanding state figures of the past.