Russian billionaire gives DC's Kennedy Center $5M

WASHINGTON (AP) -December 1, 2011

The gift announced Thursday includes additional funding to renovate an Opera House lounge. It will be renamed the Russian Lounge when it reopens in late 2012.

Potanin says the Kennedy Center has played a key role in building cultural relations between the U.S. and Russia. Over the years, Russia's Mariinsky Ballet, Opera and Orchestra have performed there, as well as the Bolshoi Ballet.

Potanin's foundation will guide the design of the new lounge to showcase Russian arts and culture. It will be the fourth lounge dedicated to a country or region, along with spaces devoted to Africa, Israel and China.

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