French actor Gérard Depardieu has attended the opening of a cultural centre named after him in the Russian city of Saransk — the first cultural centre in the country to be named after a living star from the West.
The Gérard Depardieu Cultural Centre can be found on the site of the former Rossiya cinema in the capital of Mordovia, located in western Russia.
“I am very flattered by the fact that a cultural centre will bear my name,” Mr Depardieu said, according to local newspaper Izvestia Mordoviyi. “It’s a shame that I am unable to visit Saransk more often.”
“In Mordovia, I feel like a true Russian,” added the star, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2013 by a decree from president Vladimir Putin, is a registered resident in Saransk and owns an apartment in the city.
Despite recent reports that the actor had cut ties with Russia and even sold his apartment in Saransk, Mr Depardieu seems more committed than ever: he plans to vote in the Russian parliamentary elections, which will take place on 18 September, and to open an acting school for children in the new cultural centre.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter