The Lyons Hall of the Catherine Palace at the Tsarskoe Selo State Museum Preserve (Pushkin, St. Petersburg) was reopened today after a restoration carried out with the support from Gazprom and the ENGIE Foundation (France).
The unveiling ceremony was attended by Olga Golodets, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Sylvie Bermann, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of France to the Russian Federation, Elena Burmistrova, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, Director General of Gazprom Export, Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ENGIE, Gerard Mestrallet, Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors of ENGIE, and Olga Taratynova, Director of the Tsarskoe Selo State Art and Architecture Palace and Park Museum Preserve.
The Lyons Hall was created by architect Charles Cameron for Catherine II in the second half of the 18th century. Later on, the design of the chambers was updated under the project by architect Ippolit Monighetti. The furniture and walls of the imperial chambers were embellished with silk made in Lyons, France. The unique interior decor was destroyed during the Great Patriotic War.
In the course of the restoration, the plafond, lapis lazuli mosaic panels, and textile decorations were restored. The golden silk wallpapers were created at the same French manufactory in Lyons that had fulfilled the order of the Russian Imperial Court in the 19th century. They were made as an exact copy of the original fabric, a sample of which had been preserved by the manufactory.
“Today, we witnessed a historic event. After the restoration, the Lyons Hall – one of the most beautiful interiors in the Catherine Palace – has reopened its doors to the public. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this unique project. Through this joint effort, the Lyons Hall has regained its former glory.
We particularly appreciate the support our French partners from ENGIE have given to this initiative. In the more than 40 years of our cooperation, we have achieved success not only in the gas business but also in our cultural endeavors. This underlines the strategic nature of our relationship and serves to strengthen the friendship between our countries,” said Elena Burmistrova.
“This is a momentous occasion: the Catherine Palace is celebrating the revival of a masterpiece that is symbolic of the cultural ties between France and Russia. A year ago, the ENGIE Corporate Foundation and Gazprom made the decision to jointly support the restoration of the Lyons Hall undertaken by the Tsarskoe Selo Museum, so as to bring it back on view for guests and visitors, both today and in the centuries to come. Our countries have unique historical and cultural heritage for which we are responsible to the future generations,” said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu.
France’s ENGIE SA (prior to 2015 – GDF SUEZ) is focused on natural gas marketing, as well as power generation. ENGIE owns the largest gas transmission network in Europe and is the biggest UGS facility operator in Europe in terms of capacities.
Gazprom and ENGIE cooperate, inter alia, in gas supplies and transmission. The companies also pursue joint cultural projects.
The Tsarskoe Selo Museum Preserve (Pushkin, St. Petersburg) is a magnificent monument of world architecture and landscape design of the 18th to early 20th centuries. The Great Palace of Tsarskoe Selo (the Catherine Palace), the centerpiece of the palace and garden complex, is an example of the Russian Baroque style.
On May 25, 2018, Gazprom, the ENGIE Corporate Foundation, and the Tsarskoe Selo State Art and Architecture Palace and Park Museum Preserve signed an Agreement to take part in the restoration of the Lyons Hall of the Catherine Palace.