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MOSCOW, September 22 /TASS/. Russia, which has come to the Syrian people’s rescue, has proven it would be unthinkable to resolve any global problems without it, world famous conductor Valery Gergiyev, the artistic director of the St. Petersburg-based Mariinsky Theatre, said at a ceremony of presentation of state awards in the Kremlin on Thursday.
He remembered a concert, which the Mariinsky’s orchestra gave in the ancient Syria town of Palmyra under his baton shortly after being liberated from terrorists. In that way, the Russian musicians paid tribute to the great heritage of world culture, the maestro stressed.
Gergiyev thanked the Russian military for making the musicians feel safe in Syria. "We have become convinced even more that our country is invincible and will continue setting example to the rest of the world of how it was possible to come the rescue of the people in Syria who have been suffering for many years. Over the last year, Russia has not only proven that it can take part in the enormous world process but also that this process is unthinkable without its (Russia’s) participation," the conductor said.
Gergiyev received the Order of Saint Alexander Nevsky from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The maestro pointed to the importance of the historical figure of Prince Alexander Nevsky who halted the eastward drive of the Germans and Swedes in the 13th century. He repelled a Swedish invasion at the confluence of the Rivers Izhora and Neva (1240). That battle won him the name Nevsky, "of the Neva."
"I would like to wish you the same vital and serious accomplishments on your difficult path. The figure of Alexander Nevsky cannot but serve as example to everybody who is present in this hall, including the president of Russia," Gergiyev told Putin.
Back to the concert in Palmyra, Gergiyev described the ancient city as part of world culture. "We became witnesses to the fact of terrible destruction of the great achievements of people who lived 2000 years ago," the Russian musician stressed.
He added that Mikhail Piotrovsky, the director of the St. Petersburg Hermitage Museum, who also received a state award from Putin on Thursday, knew better how to restore the monuments like Palmyra.
For his part, Piotrovsky thanked the Russian president for defending Palmyra.