PARIS, November 10th. / Tass /. The heirlooms of the Russian imperial family, seized illegally before one of the religious organizations in Nice, returned to Russia on Friday. Among them is the shirt of Tsar Alexander II, in which he was in the last hours of his life before the assassination attempt on March 13, 1881 (March 1, old style). The transfer ceremony took place at a meeting of the French-Russian Alliance public in Paris, says the TASS correspondent from the scene.
"Time to collect stones"
The heirlooms were received on behalf of Russia by the Russian ambassador to France, Alexei Meskov. The diplomat thanked the French side for help in returning the King's personal items. "We tried to return the stolen property and now, with the help of the French authorities, we have managed to achieve this," he said.
Bishop Nestor, who heads the Metropolitan Union of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), noted the joy of the parishioners in this event. "It's time to collect stones," he said in the Ecclesiastical Bible book. "These relics are part of our history, it is important to keep them," the clergy added.
Norman husband of the emperor, princess Ekaterina Yuryevskaya (de Dolgoruka), brought the emperor's bloody shirt to France shortly after his death. He settled in Nice and kept the shirt along with other King's personal items. After her death, the remains were deposited at the cathedral of St. Nicholas of Nice.
After the revolution in Russia, the worship club of Nice AKOR took possession of the cathedral, and the things of the Romans who were kept in the church were also at their disposal. A few years ago, after a long dispute with this organization, the Russian side confirmed the ownership of the St. Nicholas cathedral, but AKOR provided heirlooms. Only now, with the support of the French government, they have managed to return them to Russia.
In addition to the shirt with traces of the imperial blood of Russia, three sauces were returned with the monogram of the emperor, the vestment and the outfit of the ruler, as well as his portrait. According to Bishop Nestor, the emperor's shirt and other personal items can now be seen again in Nice at the Cathedral of St. Nicholas of the Russian Orthodox Church, where they were kept until the kidnapping.
Thanks to the grandson
Like the grand-grandson of Alexander II, Prince George Yuryevsky, in an interview with a TASS correspondent, this year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Alexander the Great. "This is a special year and today my grandfather's things have come back. I'm very happy and I thank everyone," he said.
The heiress of the French Orleans dynasty, Count Heinrich of Paris, underlined the important mission of the French Alliance to strengthen friendship between the two countries. "As a descendant of Anna of Kiev (Queen of France from 1051 to 1060, daughter of the Yaroslav of the Wise Prince of Kiev, Anna Yaroslavna – TASS), I especially appreciate our good relations.
The ceremony was received by the President of France in 1974-1981, Valerie Giscard d'Estaing, whose message was read by the head of the Franco-Russian alliance, Prince Alexandru Trumbesco. "This year, you will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Alexander the Great, the great reformer, whose memory can strengthen relations between France and Russia," the former head of democracy said.