• France edition
 
Depardieu moves into Russian town
Gerard Depardieu, pictured embracing his 'friend' Russian President Vladimir Putin, on January 5th. Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev/Ria-Novosti/AFP

Depardieu moves into Russian town

Published: 24 Feb 2013 08:40 GMT+01:00
Updated: 24 Feb 2013 08:40 GMT+01:00

Newly-minted Russian citizen Depardieu gave his residence as No. 1, Democracy Street.

In a grand ceremony in Mordovia's main city of Saransk that bore little relation to the average Russian's experience of local bureaucracy, Depardieu signed a form and had his passport stamped to formally become a resident.

The procedure was greeted by wild applause by the crowds crammed into the city's state theatre to witness the procedure as the burly French megastar grinned broadly.

"Glory to Saransk, Glory to Mordovia, Glory to Russia!" he bellowed in celebration, in heavily-accented Russian.

Depardieu then proudly produced the Russian passport, complete with the new registration stamp, to show off to the cameras, an AFP correspondent said.

His address was announced as an apartment on No. 1, Democracy Street in an upscale area of Saransk which belongs to relatives of his friend, the head of Russia's State Film Fund Nikolai Borodachev.

All Russian citizens are obliged to be formally registered as living in a certain city, town or village with a corresponding stamp in their passport to prove it.

Depardieu was granted a Russian passport by President Vladimir Putin in January after complaining at high tax rates in France. This trip is his second to Russia as a Russian citizen and he is expected to stay in Saransk for several days.

True to his reputation for rocking relations with his home country, Depardieu aggressively asked a pair of French journalists whom he recognised to leave and delete their video recordings.

The Mordovia region in central Russia was until know chiefly known for its network of prison camps where one of the jailed Pussy Riot punks is serving her sentence.

Populated by a large community of Finnic-speaking Mordvins, it is also a host city of the 2018 World Cup that is to be hosted by Russia.

"We are very happy that the citizen of the world, the great actor Gérard Depardieu, has registered namely in Saransk," said the head of the Mordovia region, Vladimir Volkov.

"We will continue to get Depardieu acquainted with our culture, our agriculture, industry, our successful experience of inter-ethnic relations and our people," he added.

Local media reports said that Depardieu on his latest trip would be given an excursion around a local cheese factory that uses French machinery and may also go on a trip hunting for wild boar.

According to Yuri Mishanin, the head of the theatre where the registration ceremony was held, Depardieu was also hoping to "open a small restaurant here in Saransk".

The Russian authorities are clearly delighted to have found a cultural figure who praises Putin to the skies and shows his respect for Russian culture.

But some commentators have queried Depardieu's wanderings in Putin's Russia, comparing him to artists like Irish writer George Bernard Shaw who praised the Soviet Union at the height of Stalin's tyrannical rule.

Depardieu was given citizenship by Putin in early January after he squabbled with French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who scolded his "pathetic" decision to become a tax exile in Belgium.

He is not expected to live full time in Russia but the Saransk authorities are expecting he will make regular visits to his adopted new home.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Paris Fashion Week: Five trends to emerge
Was Mexican wrestling-style masks one of the trends to emerge from the Paris Fashion Week? Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Paris Fashion Week: Five trends to emerge

Didn't manage to get a seat by the catwalk during this year's Paris Fashion week? No need to worry, here's five trends that emerged from the catwalks this week. READ  

Better to grow old in the UK and US than France?
Is it really better to grow old in the US and the UK than France? Plenty would disagree. Photo: Jazz Beaunola/Flickr

Better to grow old in the UK and US than France?

A new global study concludes pensioners have a better quality of life in the US and the UK than in France. This may come as a surprise to the thousands of retired expats who came to France to settle. So is the study wrong and where would you rather grow old? READ  

Paris tourism
Louvre and Versailles to open seven days a week
The Louvre in Paris will be open seven days a week in future. As will Versailles and the Musée d'Orsay.

Louvre and Versailles to open seven days a week

Three of France's most famous museums and art galleries - the Louvre, the Palace of Versailles and the Musee d'Orsay - will soon be open seven days a week, the government revealed on Wednesday. Many visitors may be surprised they aren't already open all week-round. READ  

Profile - A French 'executioner'?
Pot-smoking Frenchman is Isis 'executioner'
An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube allegedly shows members of a Jihadist group affiliated to the jihadist group Isis. Photo: AFP

Pot-smoking Frenchman is Isis 'executioner'

The man accused by the US State department of carrying out executions for the Islamist extremist group Isis was a "fun-loving" Frenchman who enjoyed smoking weed and going out clubbing, according to this report. READ  

First ever class action lawsuit filed in France
A property management company is the target of France's first ever class action suit. Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP

First ever class action lawsuit filed in France

On the same day class action lawsuits became legal in France, a consumer watchdog group filed one of the collective proceedings against the country’s biggest landlord over the "illegal" fees it charges renters. READ  

French cops revoke Le Pen's driving license
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen has had her driver's license revoked. Photo: Patrick Kovarik/AFP

French cops revoke Le Pen's driving license

French far-right politician Marine Le Pen had her driver’s license revoked after picking up one too many speeding tickets, it was revealed this week. It's also been claimed she recently moved house after one of her dad's dogs killed one of her beloved Bengal cats. READ  

Photo of the Day
Jay Z and Beyonce bump into Sark-O at the footy
"Don't laugh Jay-Z, I really am going to make a comeback Jay -Z". Photo: Franck Fife/AFP

Jay Z and Beyonce bump into Sark-O at the footy

Jay Z and his wife Beyonce were the surprise celeb guests at PSG's Champions League clash with Barcelona in Paris on Tuesday night where they bumped into the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy. But what could Sarkozy be saying here to the US rapper? READ  

Suspects identified in Frenchman's beheading
A photo paying homage to French tourist Hervé Gourdel who was beheaded in Algeria. Photo: Jean-Christophe Magnenet/AFP

Suspects identified in Frenchman's beheading

Some of the suspects in the kidnapping and beheading of French tourist Hervé Gourdel in Algeria have been identified, a minister in the north African country said on Tuesday. READ  

French Budget 2015
Budget 2015: €21 billion savings plus tax cuts
Protesters in France make their feelings clear about the government's efforts to balance the books. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

Budget 2015: €21 billion savings plus tax cuts

France's eagerly awaited 2015 budget was revealed on Wednesday which includes €21 billion of savings, a hike in the tax on diesel fuel as well as income tax cuts. The country's deficit would be brought in line with EU rules by 2017. READ  

PSG 3 - Barcelona 2
PSG's Blanc: 'We do our job for nights like this'
PSG's Blaise Matuidi leads the celebrates after his team's famous victory over Barcelona on Tuesday night. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP

PSG's Blanc: 'We do our job for nights like this'

French champions Paris Saint-Germain earned a historic victory against Spanish giants Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday night. Here's all the reaction from PSG's delighted coach Laurent Blanc and his counterpart at Barca Luis Enrique. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Culture
Caption contest: What happened when Jay Z met Sark O?
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
International
This explains why the French never seem to get a sense of déjà vu?
National
VIDEO: Here's a view from the Eiffel Tower you haven't seen before
Travel
Do Paris's iconic rooftops deserve Unesco World Heritage status?
Opinion
'France cannot reform, the pilots' strike showed us this'
National
'We just don’t work hard enough in France.' Is that true?
International
France has moved to beef up security in various public places
National
Hiking naked in France does not come risk-free
Culture
10 French customs that confuse Anglos
National
IN PICTURES: A look inside France's 'most notorious' prison
International
Isis urges killing of 'spiteful, dirty' French
National
Paris installs new device to stop 'love lock' craze
National
Paris cabby dies in vicious high-heel attack
National
'Paris is a sexy city, its beauty is inspiring'
Culture
Depardieu: ‘I drink 14 bottles of booze a day’
National
Top French chefs want banned bird on menu
National
VIDEO: Making of French rugby hunk calendar
National
Ten great bars in Paris only locals know about
Society
France's top expat tribes: Which are you?
National
France to set flat-rate for Paris airport taxis
Politics
French separatists want Scots to say 'yes'
National
Anti-dog poo offensive launched in French town
National
Scammers attack Paris's top cop at tourist hotspot
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se