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    FAMOUS FRENCH WRITER HIGHLY ASSESSES PURCHASE OF FABERGE COLLECTION

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    PARIS, February 7 (RIA Novosti correspondent Andrei Nizamutdinov) - Famous French writer and publicist Marek Halter has highly assessed the act of Russian businessman Viktor Vekselberg who purchased the Faberge collection and intends to bring it back to Russia.

    According to Halter, he was happy to learn about the return of the collection.

    "Man shall not live by bread alone. One should not forget the spiritual aspect," the writer told RIA Novosti. He does not agree with those who believe that this money should have been spent on Russia's other needs.

    In Halter's opinion, art patrons deserve public encouragement. The purchase of the Faberge collection is an important event in Russia's history and culture. "I am glad there are people helping to maintain the continuity of generations," the writer noted.

    Viktor Vekselberg, the chairman of the board of the Tyumen Oil Company (TNK) purchased the world's largest private collection of Faberge jewels at Sotheby's. The collection belonged to the Forbes family of American media tycoons.

    The collection of 180 jewels, including nine Easter eggs created by the famous jeweler Karl Faberge by the order of the Russian royal family was to be put up for auction on April 20-21. Its original price was $90 million. However, Mr. Vekselberg made his "remarkable proposal", Sotheby's head Bill Ruprecht said on Wednesday.

    The Russian businessman claimed his intention to bring the collection back to Russia.

    "Knowing that the Forbes collection was put up for sale, I understood that it was my unique chance to bring back to Russia one of its greatest treasures," Vekselberg said.

    "I consider it an honor to make this precious collection widely available in Russia," he noted.

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