Meatless Surprise Wrapped in Mystery

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Churchill described Russia’s actions as „a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.“

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Almost fifty years before the brilliant British statesman issued his famous phrase, a Russian artist Sergei Malyutin had a similar idea. Tzar Nicholas II, who ascended the Russian throne in 1894, promoted Russian culture, arts, and crafts. Granted, in a way it was an attempt to dissuade public resentment of his German wife. However, the Tzar himself had a hobby to which he would dedicate most of his time and attention – woodcarving. The monarch’s hobby inspired so-called „Russian style“ in arts, specifically focused on the old-fashioned village children’s toys.  The royal family sponsored a workshop called „Children’s Nurturing“ which created dolls dressed in regional Russian national costumes. It is in this workshop that Malyutin conceived the idea of a nestling doll that took the world by a storm and became a symbol and epitome of…

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