However, a cache of 500 images from “Putin’s Palace” show that the depiction of the lavish fittings was accurate.
One of Navalny’s allies involved in the project Georgy Alburov said the initial claims of luxury were justified.
He said: “If it seemed to you that we went too far with the [mock-up] interiors — that we exaggerated and embellished them — you were very mistaken.
“Life, as it happens, exceeded any of our expectations.”
Mr Alburov and another Navalny ally, Maria Pevchikh, presented the images in a mocking video report last year.
They focused on the kitsch and grandiose nature of the palace.
In the images, corridors, bathrooms, a bedroom, and halls are shown decorated with chandeliers, frescos and wood panelling.
There is also gilded stucco work and the two-headed eagle symbolic of Russia’s coat of arms.
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It allegedly has a theatre, underground ice hockey rink and a spa with space for storing therapeutic mud.
There is a 7,000 hectare buffer zone around the property by the Federal Security Service (FSB).
Putin has denied he owns the property with billionaire oligarch Arkady Rotenberg claiming ownership last year.