All this beauty at our expense

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Vulgar Viktor: Dalrymple draws attention to the taste exhibited at one of the Ukrainian ex-president’s palaces. ‘Say what you will about Europe’s old aristocracies, of the economic and social injustices upon which their hegemony rested, but no one can gainsay that they left cultural monuments of value sub specie aeternitatis. Even the Victorian industrialists did far better than Yanukovych.’ Dalrymple points out that it is the luxury and not the taste of Yanukovych’s living quarters that outrages the Ukrainians, ‘for if by any chance they had come into money they would have done the same, aesthetically. When it came to taste, Yanukovych was a man of the people’. One horrified Ukrainian citizen, touring the mansion, exclaimed, ‘All this beauty at our expense!’

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