August 14, 2012. (Romereports.com)
These items are all part of a unique exhibit in Russia. It includes over 200 works of art, like pictures, uniforms and documents
that show the strong history between Russia and the Order of Malta.
The link between the two dates back to 1798. That's when Napoleon conquered Malta, and in the process evicted all members of the Order. But, Russian Emperor Paul I, came to the rescue, by offering the knights shelter in Russia.
To show their gratitude for saving the Order during this critical time, they named the Emperor their Grand Master.
Now, centuries later this exhibit shows the crown, dagger and seal commissioned by Paul I during his coronation.
On a historical note, the exhibit marks the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and the Order of Malta. To make the exhibit a reality, several museums from Russia, Malta, Italy, the Louvre in France came together to loan some of the pieces to Moscow's Kremlin Museum.
Included is also a Caravaggio portrait of Antonio Martelli from the Palazzo Pitti in Florence.
The exhibit titled “Treasures of the Order of Malta: “Nine centuries at the service of Faith and Charity,” is also making history in yet another way. The Order's Grand Master, Matthew Festing attended the opening, marking the Order's first high ranking visit to Russia in over 200 years.
Organizers hope the exhibit will highlight the strong bonds between the Order and Russia, especially how that country helped the Order to continue its charitable works.
The exhibit will run until September 9th.
-Order of Malta/RR