SAINT PETERSBURG – The penetrating gaze of Tsar Nicholas II greets visitors in the St Catherine’s side-altar area of the State Museum St Isaac’s Cathedral. The world’s fourth largest basilica and one of the city’s top tourist attractions – featuring green malachite and blue lapis lazuli columns beneath its 101.52-meter gold-plated dome – is currently hosting “Imperial Russia,” an exhibition of new works by Greek artist Nikos Floros.
Commissioned by the Russian state within the framework of the 2016 Year of Greece in Russia, the display focuses on the country’s last imperial family, the Romanovs.
The fate of the last tsar and his immediate family is more or less known: Nicholas II was deposed in February 1917 and he and his immediate family were executed in Yekaterinburg in July 1918. The family was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in 1981.
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