Potemkin villages take their name from Count Grigoriy Potyomkin, field marshal, prime minister, and "prince" of the Russian Empire during the reign of Catherine the Great. Potyomkin's detractors constantly alleged that he would build entire villages, stocked with foodstuffs taken wherever he could obtain them, to show off before his Empress when she came to visit the territory that he administered. Most sources say that these pretend villages never really existed, but also admit that Potyomkin did occasionally
|“||hide beggars, paint facades, and perhaps erect the occasional false front to conceal the occasional hovel.||”|
- Adams C, "Did 'Potemkin' villages actually exist?" The Straight Dope, 14 November 2003. Retrieved 11 May 2011.