• 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

Flamboyant French actor Gérard Depardieu on Saturday formally registered as a resident of the Russian region of Mordovia.

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.

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
‘France needs to change its response to crime’
France prison's have hit a new record for overcrowding. Photo: Damien Meyer/AFP

‘France needs to change its response to crime’

This month France had more prisoners behind bars than ever before in its history, according to statistics unveiled on Thursday. An expert on the country's penal system told The Local that Sarkozy-era sentencing laws are largely to blame. READ () »

Burgundy 'will be ruined by wind farms'
Will Burgundy's worldwide reputation suffer because of windfarms? Photo: Jeff Pachoud/AFP

Burgundy 'will be ruined by wind farms'

The famous Burgundy region of France is synonymous with its vineyards but its image will soon be ruined, campaigners say, by the planned construction of new wind turbines. They say their chances of gaining UNESCO world heritage status are threatened. READ () »

VIDEO: Inside Paris’s first luxury hotel for cats
Here is a video look inside Paris's first-ever hotel just for cats. Photo: Lisa Winderberg/Flickr

VIDEO: Inside Paris’s first luxury hotel for cats

It was only a matter of time before the world’s most visited city extended its luxury lodging options to pets as well. Here's a look inside Paris’s first ever hotel just for cats, which naturally comes complete with a "gourmet" food menu and a games room. READ () »

French government's austerity denial 'a joke'
Some €50 billion cuts and freezes in benefits are not austerity, the French government says. That's a joke, say analysts. Photo: Pierre Andrieu/AFP

French government's austerity denial 'a joke'

After announcing a raft of spending cuts and benefits freezes this week the French government was at pains to stress that the country was not undergoing “austerity” as it faces a rebellion among its ranks. Analysts dismissed ministers' efforts as "a joke". READ () »

UK, US directors make cut for Cannes festival
British and American directors have been selected to show their films in Cannes. Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP

UK, US directors make cut for Cannes festival

Cannes film festival organizers unveiled on Thursday the A-listers and art house "auteurs" chosen to take part in this year's movie extravaganza on the French Riviera and it includes several well known Brits and Americans. READ () »

'Tarantula trafficker' snared in huge bug bust
French 'tarantula trafficker' caught with thousands of spiders. Photo: Ben Sutherland/Flickr

'Tarantula trafficker' snared in huge bug bust

In one of France’s biggest bug busts ever, a man was caught with thousands of living and dead tarantulas as well as other exotic insects he sold on the black market, media reports said on Thursday. READ () »

Euro wide hunt for teen girl and 'suicidal' prof
Police across Europre are involved in the hunt for suicidal teacher and teen French girl

Euro wide hunt for teen girl and 'suicidal' prof

Police across Europe are trying to track down a 15-year-old French girl who disappeared a week ago with her guitar teacher, a much older family friend thought to be in a suicidal state. READ () »

Pupils 'taught abortion is murder' at French school
French pupils claims they were taught 'abortion is murder' at school. Photo: Philippe Ksiazek/AFP

Pupils 'taught abortion is murder' at French school

A private religious school in Paris is under investigation from national education officials after students alleged they’d been told in class that 'abortion is in akin to murder'. The private school has ties to the controversial fundamentalist group Opus Dei. READ () »

Australian 'graffiti tourists' arrested in Paris
File Photo of a typically graffiti covered Paris Metro. Photo: Jacques Demarthon/AFP

Australian 'graffiti tourists' arrested in Paris

Two Australian tourists who had left their mark on the City of Light with a few cans of spray paint, were picked up by French police this week. It appears the pair of graffiti vandals were on an InterRail trip and planned to “tag the whole of Europe” READ () »

French football
French cup final will be all-Breton affair
Guingamp players celebrate after their victory over Monaco on Wednesday which sets up an all Breton French cup final against Rennes. Photo: Fred Tanneau/AFP

French cup final will be all-Breton affair

The French cup final will be an all-Breton affair after underdogs Guingamp produced a major upset by knocking out big spenders Monaco in their semi final tie on Wednesday night. Guingamp will now play fellow Brittany side Rennes in May's final. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
VIDEO: Take a look inside Paris’s first luxury hotel for cats
Education
French parents are the most laidback about their kids' education. True?
Tech
What do French TV viewers complain about the most? Yes it's English
Business & Money
French tax declarations: The key points to remember
Gallery
French slang: Everyday words you need to know (but use cautiously)
National
Paris cops told to ‘purge’ Roma from posh neighbourhood
International
VIDEO: ‘Anti-French’ Cadillac ad sparks anger in France. See why.
Features
Buying property in France? Here's 10 things you need to think about
National
What will the future map of France look like? The answer lies within.
Politics
'The 27 French regions aren't the problem, it's the 36,000 towns'
Culture
Ex underage call girl Zahia picked to embody Marie Antoinette
Gallery
Buying a house in France? Ten things you need to think about
Advertisement:
National
France bans work emails after 6pm! Sadly it's not quite true.
Opinion
Reader Rants: Why don't the French do charity? Is it down to taxes?
Society
VIDEO: The Paris zoo is back but this time the animals are in charge
National
This will be the most expensive road in France - Only €1.66bn for 12km!
Society
Only in France? Gourmet pensioners party lands village in hot water
National
What's the worst thing to do when you realise you're on the wrong train?
From showers to kissing: Anglos tell Twitter what's weird about France
National
'A big quake will hit France and there will be casualties' - Scientist warns
Culture
After all the dozens of books is France still worth writing about?
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Opinion
Paris or the suburbs - where would you live?
National
VIDEO: Walk the line - crossing the Seine on a tightrope
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 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