May 31, 2016 "Vasily Konovalenko: A Sculptor of Gems" Exhibition Opening ceremony took place in the One-Pillar Chamber of the Patriarch’s Palace.

After the welcoming speech of Elena Gagarina, Director General of the Moscow Kremlin Museums, the guests were greeted by Sergei Ivanov, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office of the Russian Federation and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Moscow Kremlin Museums. “The exhibition "Vasily Konovalenko: A Sculptor of Gems" is a display of the sublime heritage of Russian stone carving – a craft that Russians have always held in high esteem. Vasily Konovalenko was called ‘Danila the Craftsman’ as the successor of eminent craftsmen of the Urals and heir to the traditions of Fabergé,” he said.

Olga Golodets, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, congratulated everybody on the opening of the exhibition. “In my opinion, this exhibition will touch feelings of the visitors both from Moscow and other cities. This is a wonderful story, which will bring many interesting, forgotten and nostalgic things in our culture,” she noticed.

Nikolay Tokarev, President of Transneft, JSC, and General partner of the exhibition project, mentioned that Vasily Konovalenko’s name was wrongly unheralded in Russia, but the exhibition in the Moscow Kremlin Museums is a ‘unique art collection’ of the sculptor’s works, who is “ranked alongside Carl Fabergé in his scope, talent and art legacy”.

Elena Gagarina thanked the colleagues from the “Samotsvety” Museum, Vernadsky State Geological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Russian State Precious Metals and Gems Repository, staff members of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (Colorado) and Kazanjian Foundation (Beverly Hills, USA) as well as the collectors from the United States for providing gem sculptures, works from bronze, drawings and unique minerals. Elena Gagarina expressed special gratitude to Anna Konovalenko, the artist’s widow, whose invaluable help made it possible to show the sculptor’s work in all its great variety.