Moscow authorities want to buy Turgenev estate in Paris suburb

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MOSCOW, July 20 (RIA Novosti, Denis Telmanov) - The Moscow government's commission on property acquisition abroad wants to buy a former estate of Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883), a Russian literature classic, in the Paris suburb of Boujival, commission chairman Iosif Ordzhonikidze said Wednesday.

In November 1874, Turgenev bought a park in a Paris suburb for the French singer and composer Pauline Viardot, the love for whom he settled in France. He built a Swiss-style mansion and called it a country house (dacha). In this house, he received such guests as Flaubert, Zola, and Maupassant. Turgenev lived his last eight years in the house and died there.

After Turgenev's death, Viardot sold the house. After many subsequent owners, the park was bought by the Saint-Cloud City Hall and leased to the Association of Turgenev's Friends, which is funded by donations and its cultural and educational activities.

The Saint-Cloud City Hall said these funds were insufficient to maintain the Viardot estate and decided, in cooperation with France's Cultural Ministry, to put the estate up for sale.

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