Macron inaugurates Morozov art collection exhibit in Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron visits the exhibition 'The Morozov Collection, Icons of Modern Art' at Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France, September 21, 2021. Yoan Valat/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday inaugurated the opening at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris of the exhibition devoted to the art collection built by Russian industrialist brothers Ivan and Mikhail Morozov at the turn of the 20th century.

Macron was accompanied by his wife Brigitte and Bernard Arnault, the French luxury tycoon and owner of the Fondation, who helped cut through bureaucratic and diplomatic red tape to make the show a reality.

The exhibition brings together 200 masterpieces from prominent French artists such as Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh alongside Russian masters including Malevich or Korovin, all on loan from museums in Russia.

It marks a further step in the "Trianon Dialogue", an initiative to strengthen ties between French and Russian civil society, notably through cultural cooperation that was launched in 2017 by Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Elysee palace said in a statement.

It is the Fondation's second show of major Russian art collectors, coming after the Sergei Shchukin Collection exhibition in 2016, which attracted 1.3 million visitors.

It is first time the collection has traveled outside of Russia since its creation thanks to the partnership of the Fondation with the State Hermitage Museum in Saint-Petersburg, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow and the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

Like the Shchukin collection, most of the Morozov brothers' artworks were nationalized after the 1917 revolution, then absorbed primarily into the collections of Russian museums.

The exhibition runs from Sept. 22, 2021 to Feb. 22, 2022.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten)

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