scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Thursday, May 19, 2022

To Russia with love: vast Italian table in Kremlin turns heads

The white table -- some six metres (12 ft) in length -- spawned countless memes on social media last week when Putin hosted French President Emmanuel Macron for talks on the Ukraine crisis, and they sat at each end of the table.

By: Reuters | Rome |
February 16, 2022 5:00:59 pm
Vladimir Putin, Emmanuel Macron, putin macron tableRussian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Moscow, Russia. (Sputnik/Kremlin via REUTERS)

A very long table that drew world attention when Russian President Vladimir Putin used it for meetings this month with foreign leaders was made in Italy by a
small family firm which has also furnished dozens of other rooms in the Kremlin.

The white table – some six metres (12 ft) in length – spawned countless memes on social media last week when Putin hosted French President Emmanuel Macron for talks on the Ukraine crisis, and they sat at each end of the table.

Renato Pologna said the table was just one of many items his firm Oak made for the Kremlin under contract in 1995-1997.

Vladimir Putin, Emmanuel Macron, putin macron table Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Moscow, Russia February 15, 2022. (Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS)

“The table is really the tip of the iceberg. In all, we provided furniture and fittings for around 70 rooms. Some of the other tables are even bigger,” he told Reuters.

Best of Express Premium

Inflation up, FMCG firms hike rates, cut pack volume and weightPremium
Explained: Origin myth and history of the name of Lucknow, the ‘city of L...Premium
‘Pigeon closes eyes as cat advances’: 1991 Lok Sabha, when Um...Premium
A G Perarivalan writes: My hope was my mother… the life-saving plan...Premium

The scene of Putin and Macron seated so far apart prompted Twitter users to edit the images to depict the table as an ice-rink, a tennis court, a see-saw and even as the one used in Christ’s Last Supper.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin had opted to sit so far away to protect his health after Macron declined to take a Russian COVID-19 test.

The table was again on display on Tuesday when Putin met German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

‘THE BEST OF ITALY’

Pologna said the table top was made from a single sheet of beech wood, supported on three hollowed wooden stands. It is lacquered white and is gold-plated on the side.

“If you wanted to buy something similar today, it would cost around 100,000 euros ($113,660)” Pologna said. “It was lovely to see photos of the table everywhere. Let’s hope it brings some luck and stops a war (in Ukraine).

“Under the 1990s contract, Oak decorated some 7,000 square metres of the Kremlin, spread out over two floors, including the president’s private residence.

Pologna said the space had been gutted by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, so Russian designers had scoured the archives to recreate the look of the place before the 1917 Russian Revolution, providing Oak with designs for each room.

The contract was worth between 40 and 50 million euros, with all the furniture built in Italy and then flown to Russia, where it was passed through giant scanners to check for bugging devices, before being carried into the Kremlin.

It is the largest single order that Oak has ever had, but Pologna said his company had worked around the globe, including in royal palaces in Brunei and Thailand.

Oak was founded by Pologna’s grandfather and employs some 50 people. “This is the best of Italy,” he said. “Family businesses which pass on skills and resources from generation to generation.”

📣 For more lifestyle news, follow us on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook and don’t miss out on the latest updates!

For all the latest Lifestyle News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement