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The Smithsonian's Freer and Sackler Galleries to Host Russian Dignitaries at Opening Celebration of "The Tsars and the East: Gifts from Turkey and Iran in The Moscow Kremlin"

Media only: Ellie Reynolds, 202.633.0521; Elizabeth Bridgforth, 202.633.0521
Public only: 202.633.1000

Foreign Affairs Minister Lavrov to Attend Gala Opening

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov will be among the guests of honor attending the May 7 opening gala celebration of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery's spring exhibition, "The Tsars and the East: Gifts from Turkey and Iran in The Moscow Kremlin."

Minister Lavrov will be joined by a host of Russian dignitaries, including The Honorable Sergey Kislyak, Russian ambassador to the United States, and Vagit Alekperov, president of Lukoil. A delegation from The Moscow Kremlin Museums led by General Director Dr. Elena Yurievna Gagarina will be honored at the gala celebration. His Excellency Dmitry A. Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation, has granted his patronage to the exhibition and gala.

Gala guests will enjoy a black-tie dinner, entertainment and a private viewing of the exhibition. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the exhibitions and programs of the Galleries.

"The Tsars and the East," on view May 9 though Sept. 13, displays 65 sumptuous diplomatic gifts given to the Russian tsars by Turkish and Iranian diplomats in the 16th and 17th centuries. An unprecedented partnership between the Freer and Sackler Galleries and The Moscow Kremlin Museums has allowed these objects, rarely seen outside Russia, to be viewed for the first time in the United States. The Sackler Gallery will be the only venue for this exhibition.

Individual gala tickets are available for $500 and $1,000. Tables of eight or 10 with an array of benefits are also available. For more information, visit

"The Tsars and the East: Gifts from Turkey and Iran in The Moscow Kremlin" is supported by Lukoil. Additional support is provided by the U.S.-Russia Business Council and the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce in the USA. "The Tsars and the East" is also supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities and organized in cooperation with the Russian Embassy. Washington Life magazine is the exclusive media sponsor for "The Tsars and the East" gala.

The Freer Gallery of Art, located at 12th Street and Independence Avenue S.W., and the adjacent Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, located at 1050 Independence Avenue S.W., are on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day, except Dec. 25, and admission is free. The galleries are located near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange lines. For more information, the public may call (202) 633-1000 or visit the Web site:

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