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Depardieu back in Russia to reside on Democracy Street

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

French actor Gerard Depardieu was Friday visiting his newly-adopted homeland of Russia to meet the Orthodox Patriarch, open a cinema and visit his new address on "Democracy Street".

Depardieu, who was granted a Russian passport by President Vladimir Putin after complaining at high tax rates in France, was set to spend Friday in Moscow before travelling 650 kilometres to the provincial city of Saransk to register as a resident of Democracy Street (Demokraticheskaya Ulitsa).

"They will put a stamp in his most important document (passport) giving him permanent registration at a concrete address...The flat where Depardieu will be registered is in a building on Democracy Street in central Saransk," Russian state television reported.

The street is in the Lenin district of the city of 300,000 residents to the east of Moscow. The apartment where Depardieu will be a resident belongs to family members of the head of Russia's State Film Fund, Nikolai Borodachev, a friend of the actor, Russian news agencies reported.

Saransk is the capital of the Mordovia region, chiefly known for its network of prison camps where one of the jailed Pussy Riot punks is serving her sentence.

Russian television showed Depardieu smiling as he got into a big black car after landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.

Depardieu on Friday was set to meet Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, the State Film Fund said Friday on its website. He was also due to open a newly restored cinema in a Stalin-era skyscraper.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130222/depardieu-back-russia-reside-democracy-street