Obituary: Ivan Sergeevich Artsishevsky (1950-2021)

PHOTO: Ivan Sergeevich Artsishevsky (1950-2021)

The former Director of the Romanov Family Association in Russia, died today in St. Petersburg, at the age of 71. He may be best known as the head of the working group on the reburial of Emperor Nicholas II and his family in 1998.

Ivan Artsishevsky was born in 1950 in China into a family of the first wave of Russian emigrants who fled Russia following the 1917 Revolution. In 1953, the Artsishevsky family moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil, where, at the age of 7, he attended a Brazilian school, where teaching was conducted in Portuguese, which at the time, he spoke better than Russian.

In 1967, the Artsishevsky was allowed to enter the USSR, to Chelyabinsk, and receive Soviet citizenship. Later, the family moved to Riga, where Artsishevsky graduated from the Faculty of Mathematics of the University. After moving to Leningrad, he worked for Intourist, a Russian tour operator, founded in 1929 and served as the primary travel agency for foreign tourists in the Soviet Union.

In 1991, he held the first Congress of Compatriots in Leningrad.

In 1998, he served as head of the working group on the reburial of Emperor Nicholas II, his family and servants. Thanks to his dedication and hard work, five members of the Imperial Family – Nicholas II, Alexandra Feodorovna, three of their five children: Olga, Tatiana and Anastasia, as well as their four faithful retainers were buried in the St. Catherine’s Chapel [a side chapel of the SS Peter and Paul Cathedral] in St. Petersburg. Some 50 Romanov descendants, from all corners of the world attended the historic ceremony. The only members of the Romanov family who did not attend, were Maria Vladimirovna, her son George Mikhailovich and her mother Leonida Georgievna. At the time, they collectively refused to recognize the Ekaterinburg remains as authentic, a position which Maria and her son hold fast to this day.

He then became the Director of the Romanov Family Association in Russia, a position he held until his death. At the same time, he was appointed head of the state protocol department of the St. Petersburg administration (committee for external relations), where he was responsible for organizing and conducting numerous visits of heads of state and government to our city. Received letters of gratitude from French president Jacques Chirac, US president George W. Bush, British prime minister Tony Blair among others.

In 2006, Ivan Artsishevsky organized the School of Protocol and Etiquette, the first licensed institution of its kind in Russia, one which reflected the growing interest in the topic of the culture and business communications.

PHOTO: Artsishevsky with Prince Dimitri Romanovich 1926-2016

Artsishevsky was recognized as one of Russia’s leading etiquette and protocol experts. As representative of the Romanov Family Association in Russia, he organized their visits and accompanied members of the Dynasty on protocol trips. He was a member of the International Club of Petersburgers and the Union of Russian Nobles in Paris, gave popular lectures and conducted webinars. From 2015 he also collaborated with the Russian National Library. In recent years, he served as Vice-President of the Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers of Russia.

Artsishevsky devoted his whole life of service to the Motherland and St. Petersburg. His deep knowledge of history, cultural traditions and diplomatic talent greatly served the government of St. Petersburg for many years. In the sphere of state etiquette, “he had no equal,” said the governor of St. Petersburg, Alexander Beglov, expressing his condolences to the family and friends of Artsishevsky.

On a personal note, I would like to add, that it was Ivan Sergeevich Artsishevsky who made it possible for me to attend the funeral of Emperor Nicholas II in St. Petersburg, on 17th July 1998. For that, I will always be grateful – PG

Memory Eternal! Вечная Память!

© Paul Gilbert. 7 April 2021

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