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By John Helmer, Moscow

The greatest Canadian whom the Russians have ever known was Glenn Gould, the pianist. But when he played in Moscow and St. Petersburg in 1957 – over the strenuous objections, even threats from the Canadian and US governments – he didn’t take his chair with him. That special chair, on which Gould played until his retirement from the concert hall, was this week presented to Canada’s National Arts Centre in Ottawa, together with Gould’s Steinway CD 318. The piano will be played in a first new recital on June 20. The chair will not be sat on for performance except for even more special occasions.

Not officially announced this week was the disposition of the chair from which Mikhail Prokhorov attempted to play to the Toronto stock market with an offer to sell shares of his latest mining venture, Intergeo. The story of the unconvincing prospectus, issued on May 14, was told here and here. The co-authors of the prospectus and promoters of the Intergeo initial public offering (IPO) are Morgan Stanley and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Their salesmen have different off-the-record explanations for why they are no longer offering Intergeo shares for sale.

Prokhorov’s spokesman at his Moscow holding company Onexim, Andrei Belyak, said he cannot comment, and only Intergeo can do that. He advised making contact with Canada.

Intergeo’s controlling executive Maxim Finsky, the chief executive of Intergeo Russia, Grigory Potapov, and the Toronto spokesman, Corey Copeland, have earlier declined to answer questions on the ground that the company is in the “silent period” ahead of the stock placement. Each was asked by email and telephone to say whether their IPO has been postponed or not. They confirmed receiving the question; they did not respond. Now that the placement has been pulled, a new silent period has commenced – except for the BOFF.

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