The Versailles complex: political leaders and their palaces

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The Versailles complex: political leaders and their palaces

Aqua-discos, ice-hockey rinks, gold and crystal fill opulent behemoths built to impress and intimidate

Edwin Heathcote

When Alexei Navalny’s two-hour video about a palace he alleged was Vladimir Putin’s hit 100 million views on YouTube, you could see that the Russian president was rattled.

A little more than a week later, oligarch Arkady Rotenberg was wheeled out to take the flak, saying it was his home — the imperial eagles, nautical exclusion zone and security service presence seem to tell another story, though.

Protests, despite widespread arrests, are continuing. The eagles appear to be a copy of those on the Winter Palace in St Petersburg – and look what happened to that...

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