JACKSON - Mississippi native and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Eudora Welty called the "Palaces of St. Petersburg: Russian Imperial Style Exhibition" "the biggest commotion in Jackson since they paved the streets," and she was right.

On Tuesday exhibition organizers announced the exhibition had surpassed the 300,000 mark in ticket sales. The exhibit, which will run through Aug. 31, is expected to draw approximately 500,000 visitors. Billed as a Top 100 event in North America for 1996, the exhibit has already attracted visitors from throughout the United States and other countries as well as celebrities.

The exclusive exhibit, which features 616 objects drawn from four of the great imperial palace museums of St. Petersburg, represents the largest exhibition ever presented from Russian museums outside of Russia and the largest Russian exhibition ever presented in the United States.

For individual tickets and information call 1-800-409-9959. Ticket prices are $12 for adults; $11 for seniors (60-plus) and $3 for children through the 12th grade. For special for groups of 20 or more, call 1-800-960-9900. Exhibition hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. (last admission at 8 p.m.), seven days a week.

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