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Russian-British cultural dialogue to continue upon completion of Year of Culture

November 18, 2014, 5:16 UTC+3 LONDON

Cultural dialogue with London will continue under any circumstances, believes Mikhail Shvydkoi, the Russian President’s special envoy for international cultural cooperation

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LONDON, November 18. /TASS/. In spite of the current political difficulties, cultural cooperation between Britain and Russia will continue in the future, believes Mikhail Shvydkoi, the Russian President’s special envoy for international cultural cooperation.

As he addressed a Russian-British cultural conference here on Monday, he praised the results of the Reciprocal Russian-British and British-Russian Year of Culture.

“Quite naturally, much has changed since the beginning of this bilateral Year of Culture,” Shvykdoi admitted. “The most striking thing is that the political supervision of the Year of Culture on the British side has practically reduced to zero in the past few months and this conference, where there are no representatives of the British Council or the Foreign Office offers a graphic evidence of this.”

“Nonetheless we praise ourselves for the fact we’ve fulfilled almost the whole programme planned for the Year of Culture,” he said.

Cultural dialogue with London will continue under any circumstances, Shvydkoi said. Already now the two sides have plans for several years ahead and they embrace not only the capital cities but also other regions of both countries.

The agenda of the conference, in which Shvydkoi took part, concentrated on the role of digital technologies in the development of museums, libraries and other cultural institutions. The reports and discussions dealt with the use of digital multimedia technologies to make cultural values more accessible for the public at large and to expand the museum audiences.

On the Russian side, the conference was attended by Yelena Gagarina, the director of the United Museums of the Moscow Kremlin, Zelfira Tregulova, the chief of the ROSIZO state exhibition center, Anastasiya Shavlokhova, the director for special programmes at the Vinzavod Center for Contemporary Arts, and Alissa Prudnikova, the director of the Urals branch of the National Center for Contemporary Arts.

On the British side, the list of experts included representatives of the Victoria and Albert Msuem, the British Library, Calvert 22 Foundation, and the London-based Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.

The programme of the Reciprocal Year of Culture, which started off on November 14, 2013, included more than 500 events, like performances of the Royal Ballet company at the Bolshoi in Moscow, a tour of Russia by the Globe theater company, and an exhibition of Kazimir Malevich’s works at Tate Modern gallery.

The programme will be rounded up by a display of the expressionist painter Francis Beckon in the State Hermitage Museum that opens on December 7 and will last through to March 8, 2015.

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