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Romanov's Wedding

"Like all proud fathers, Grigory Romanov, the mayor of Leningrad, wanted the very best for his daughter's wedding. In January 1980, this senior member of the Soviet Politburo persuaded the director of the city's Hermitage Museum to lend him Catherine the Great's china tea-set especially for the occasion.

"Late in the exuberant proceedings one guest got to his feet and accidentally dropped a cup. Thinking that this was a toast the other guests took it as a signal for the traditional gesture of good luck, whereupon they all rose to their feet and hurled the entire service into the fireplace."

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