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Page last updated at 09:24 GMT, Monday, 7 January 2013

Depardieu to join Russia's 'international glitterati'

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The Russian region of Mordovia has invited French actor Gerard Depardieu to set up home there, hours after he received his Russian passport.

It has been reported by Governor Vladimir Volkov said he could choose an apartment or a place to build a house.

Mordovia is best known for its Stalin-era gulag prison camps.

Mr Depardieu has taken Russian citizenship after the French government criticised his decision to move abroad to avoid higher taxes.

Edward Lucas, international editor of the Economist and a former Moscow bureau chief, said that President Putin is keen to entice people of Depardieu's status and said he had already "got his hooks into this international glitterati."

Referring to Mordovia itself, Mr Lucas added, "I've been to places like it and it's not the sort of place that you want to go to for very long... It's an extremely dull place."


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