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Tsereteli Gets Legion of Honor

Zurab Tsereteli, 76, a controversial sculptor known for his grandiose work, was to receive the Legion of Honor from French ambassador Jean de Gliniasty at the Russian Academy of Arts in Moscow on Tuesday evening, news agencies reported.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the award honored Tsereteli's “services to our country and the devotion to France that he exhibited,” as well as his contribution to strengthening ties between France and Russia.

Sarkozy did not elaborate on Tsereteli's services, but a lot of the sculptor's works, including monuments to Honore de Balzac and Pope John Paul II, are on display in France, and his statue of Charles de Gaulle was placed in Moscow in 2005.

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