Long-stored gifts to be displayed at Churchill's home

Nov. 15, 2013 at 7:35 PM
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WESTERHAM, England, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Britain's National Trust said gifts from world leaders including Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin will be displayed at Winston Churchill's England home.

Judith Evans, the National Trust's collections manager for the Chartwell home near Westerham, Kent, said she and curator Jon Primmer spent months going through items in storage, including some objects that had not seen the light of day since the World War II-era leader's death in 1965, and chose a selection of gifts to go on display in the home's exhibition gallery, The Guardian reported Friday.

Evans said the "Gifts of Power" exhibit, which will be open the public until Feb. 23, features gifts to Churchill including a 14th-century Persian bowl from U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt with a message saying it was given "with my affection and may we be together for many years."

The gifts also include glass and gem-studded silver fruit bowls from Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, a Lalique crystal cockerel from French Gen. Charles de Gaulle and a large cigar box from the people of Leningrad that contains a realistic portrait of Churchill made from tobacco leaves.

"I nearly fell over when I first saw it," Evans said of the portrait inside the box's lid.

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