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The XXI century will be a сentury either of total all-embracing crisis or of moral and spiritual healing that will reinvigorate humankind. It is my conviction that all of us - all reasonable political leaders, all spiritual and ideological movements, all  faiths - must help in this transition to a triumph of humanism and justice, in making the XXI century a century of a new human renaissance.

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7 June 2010

Mikhail Gorbachev flies to London for a charity event in honour of his late wife


Hollywood stars at gala to help children with cancer

By Nicky Trup

Monday, 7 June 2010

Hugh Grant, Vanessa Redgrave and Anjelica Huston were among the stars attending a charity event at Hampton Court Palace held in memory of Mikhail Gorbachev's late wife.

The former Russian President co-hosted the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation's fifth annual Midsummer Gala with Alexander and Evgeny Lebedev, owners of the Independent titles and the London Evening Standard, at their home in the grounds of the palace over the weekend.

Luminaries from the worlds of film, art, music and fashion enjoyed performances by the opera singer Anna Netrebko and the pop star Bryan Ferry. Dinner was followed by a charity auction with lots including a Francis Bacon triptych, a lithograph by Jeff Koons, lunch with Kevin Spacey, diamonds and luxury holidays.

The auction raised £1.7m – more than last year's fund-raising total despite the challenging financial climate – which will be split between Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation.
The Foundation was established in 2006 to commemorate the former Russian first lady, who died of leukaemia in 1999.

The comedian David Walliams, the actors Dougray Scott and Joely Richardson, designer Patrick Cox and film producer David Furnish were also at the event.

The charity's founder, Evgeny Lebedev, said: "Mikhail Gorbachev and I were so moved by the generosity of our guests who helped us to raise this astounding figure of £1.7m. This will go a long way to help lessen the suffering of so many children and their families – as was Raisa Gorbachev's aim."

Mrs Gorbachev was active in campaigning and fund-raising for childhood cancer, establishing the Children's Leukaemia Haematology project in 1989 to improve public awareness about the disease's curability if treated in its early stages. Her husband donated half the funds from his Nobel Peace Prize to the cause, helping to improve leukaemia treatment facilities across Russia.

The Raisa Gorbachev Foundation aims to continue Mrs Gorbachev's work in Russia and in the UK, where it works alongside Marie Curie Cancer Care. It has raised more than £5.5m, with the money going towards funding modern diagnostic equipment for hospitals and providing young cancer patients with specialist care.

Mr Gorbachev is an official patron of the foundation, while Evgeny Lebedev is chairman.

The Independent , 07.06.2010


In memory of Raisa

By Mathew Bell

Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Russian president, flew into London this weekend as guest of honour at a party held in aid of the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation.

Joined by leading figures from the worlds of art, fashion, music and film, Mr Gorbachev was last night received by Alexander and Evgeny Lebedev, owners of the Independent titles and the London Evening Standard for an evening at their family home, Stud House, in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace.

As the evening cooled, the operatic soprano Anna Netrebko, then Bryan Ferry, performed for guests who included Hugh Grant, Vanessa Redgrave, David Walliams, David Furnish, Anjelica Huston, Dougray Scott, Joely Richardson, Patrick Cox, Goga Ashkenazi, Yasmin Le Bon and Jay Jopling. A drinks reception on the lawns was followed by a gala dinner and fundraising auction.

The auction included a triptych by Francis Bacon and works by Jeff Koons, Gavin Turk and Michael Craig-Martin. Guests moved to dinner through the re-creation of a gilded and onion-domed Russian Orthodox church.

Founded in 2006, the fund honours Mrs Gorbachev, who died of leukaemia in 1999. She campaigned to improve the lives of children with cancer by removing financial and political barriers to treatment. Since its foundation, the charity has raised over £5.5m, and the annual party has become a major fixture on the international social scene. Proceeds from last night's event will be divided between the foundation and Marie Curie Cancer Care, with which it has a strong alliance.

"My constant aim is to raise as much money as possible to alleviate the suffering of children who have cancer," Mr Gorbachev said.

The Independent , 06.05.2010