Whether existed actually “ window-dressing “?
B 1783 at the initiative of Catherine II the prince Grigory Aleksandrovich Potyomkin to Russia annexed the Crimea.
In 1787 the empress together with it and a large number of accompanying persons, including foreign diplomats, with an inspection trip visited the country South. About this trip there is a legend that Potyomkin, wishing to show to the empress prosperity of the new territory, ordered to build along a way of its following of scenery of prosperous houses, to expose for a meeting of festively dressed peasants driven from far away, to overtake at night the same herd of cattle from one place in another, to fill bags with sand and to give them for flour reserves, to get parks in Kremenchuk and other cities (and landing was made for several days so plantings perished after Ekaterina Drive) to construct in Kherson fortress (not sustained the first thunder-storm), to build the ship (which could not be floated), etc. Subsequently expression “ window-dressing “ became nominal.
However actually any “ window-dressing “ was not. And Potyomkin had no need to show off to Ekaterina the Second with whom he had very confidential relations and with which he was absolutely frank. Though the Russian reality, with her desire both then and now to expose everything before arrival of the administration in the best light, promoted emergence of this legend. We still before arrival of the administration lick everything.
Sources of all “ revelations “ about Potyomkin there were descriptions of foreigners from which one participated in Ekaterina`s trip, and others wrote from others voice. The English, French and German diplomats seeking to convince the governments of backwardness of Russia even wrote that the strong fleet which was shown to the empress by the admiral Ushakov is only cheap models and fragments of the ships. However soon politicians could be convinced of strength of these “ models and fragments “ when under the leadership of Ushakov the strong Turkish fleet was literally swept away, and at the time of Napoleonic wars the French reference points which were considered absolutely unapproachable on the Mediterranean Sea (the island adjacent to Italy) were won.
In Europe the myth about “ window-dressing “ it was mass-produced in a turn of articles which are anonymously published in the Hamburg magazine “ Minerva “. It became known is later that the Saxon diplomat Helbing who published subsequently the book with Potyomkin`s biography was the author of these lampoons. This book was translated into English, French and other European languages. So the lie about Potyomkin went for a walk all over the world. It is natural that the people who created this myth had a definite political goal. Very much they wanted that Russia in the opinion of residents of the European countries looked still wild and backward. So the legend of a fictitious window-dressing does not maintain any criticism.
It is necessary to tell that myths about backwardness of Russia were created in the West more than once, and not very long ago the foreign tourists coming to our country were surprised why on streets there are no bears.]