Ukraine crisis – “I hope our schedule does not lead to an escalation of the war”

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The big table that allows Vladimir Putin to keep his distance has become a star because of Kovit. Its manufacturer, established near Switzerland, reminds the Kremlin of its distribution.

The image of the huge oval table that held Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron at a safe distance during a sensational meeting in Ukraine went around the world. It is the pride of a small family business in northern Italy, which claims paternal rights. “A desk is a place where you eat, have fun or play, but where you end wars or sign a ceasefire agreement. I hope our schedule brings good luck and it will not lead to an escalation of the war, ”said Renato Bologna, CEO of OAK, an Italian furniture group.

The white lacquer furniture adorned with six-meter-long gold leaf made the imagination of countless internet users on social networks, turning it into a ping-pong table, ice dance floor or Leonardo fresco. Da Vinci, “The Last Supper”.

“At the time it was a lie!”

This table, “a unique piece”, was customized and delivered to the Kremlin in 1995, and Renato Bologna says it was part of “the largest order we have ever had.” His price? “Ah, it was in liras at the time, a table like this would be worth about 100,000 euros today” and the total order was “over 20 million euros”.

Serene, with a short gray beard, stands straight behind his desk at his factory in Condo, near Lake Como, showing Renault Bologna evidence: a photograph of a table reprinted in a book in the Kremlin since 1999, signed into a legal certificate. On November 22, 1996, detailed paintings of the then Russian President Boris Yeltsin and, above all, the object of worship.

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Renato Bologna shows an enshrined certificate signed by then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin on November 22, 1996.

AFP

The popular table is made of peaches from the Alps.

The popular table is made of peaches from the Alps.

AFP

Renato Bologna shows a photograph of a table reproduced in a book in the Kremlin since 1999.

Renato Bologna shows a photograph of a table reproduced in a book in the Kremlin since 1999.

AFP

“I’m 100% sure of what I ‘m saying,” the 63-year-old Italian boss quietly promises, commenting on the words of retired Spanish cabinet maker Vicente Zaragoza, who, like him, provided the table for the Kremlin. , But “about 2005”. “This is a beach desk from the Alps,” he told Spanish Radio, a resident of Alcazar, near Valencia, who saw his work on television but recognized it without creating evidence.

“As in Spain, they made a copy, similar to our schedule, but I do not know,” commented Renato Bologna, eager to avoid any controversy.

After Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholes, like the French president who refused to submit to the Russian anti-Govt test when he arrived in Moscow on Tuesday, took his place at this now-famous table.

Seven thousand square meters on two floors

This work, seated in the reception room for foreign guests, is only a small part of the work done by OAK on one of the Kremlin buildings: according to Renato Bologna, it is a question of installing and decorating about 7000 square feet in two. Floors. “Abroad, the design and quality of high Italian craftsmanship are very popular,” he said, adding that his company provided marble coatings on furniture, floors, woodwork and the walls of Kremlin halls.

Founded by Renato Bologna’s father in the mid-1950s, the company’s clients include about fifty employees, sheikhs and royal families from the Middle East. Former dictators such as Libyan Muammar Gaddafi or Iraqi Saddam Hussein have also put their vision into OAK’s knowledge.

According to Renato Bologna, Lake Como is a “wonderful place” with a vast pool of customers, “many Americans, Russians, Indians and Chinese who buy beautiful villas.” But George Clooney, who spends at least a month a year there, has not yet knocked on OAK’s door … yet.

(AFP)

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