ROME, January 15. /TASS/. Italy and Russia are working to prepare a number of major exhibition exchanges within the joint working group on culture and tourism, Italian Deputy Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism Doria Bianchi told reporters at a news conference dedicated to the opening of the Russian Seasons festival in the Apennines.
On February 1, the working group, which is part of the Russian-Italian Council for Economic, Industrial and Monetary Cooperation, will hold its third meeting attended by Bianchi and Russian Deputy Minister of Culture, Alla Manilova, to discuss further steps related to bilateral cultural ties.
"We are working on the museum offer for Italy. We have 5,000 works, many of which are almost unknown, which we expect to exhibit in Russian museums," Bianchi said answering a question from a TASS correspondent on whether a similar initiative of "Italian culture seasons" in Russia was planned.
The official noted that the issue at hand is a large-scale exhibition titled the Lombards, which will travel to the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg from the National Archaeological Museum of Naples in spring. An exhibition of Italian sculptor Antonio Canova (the second half of the 18th century), for which exhibits will be provided by the Hermitage Museum, is scheduled for this coming spring as well. These exchange programs are provided for by a joint agreement between the two museums.
A TASS correspondent has been informed by the Italian Ministry of Culture that it had developed the Italian Museums international program, which presupposes promoting the Italian art and heritage, which is very often unknown, abroad through inter-museum collaboration. "We currently have a collection consisting of 5,000 pieces of art, which we can put together thematically - from the point of view of archeology, Renaissance and so on. This is an excellent basis for cultural and scientific cooperation, because these exhibits can be complementary with other collections, like in case with Canova," the ministry said.
Russia’s Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and the State Russian Museum have expressed interest in such exhibitions. "But, most importantly, we want to exhibit these works in provincial museums," the Italian ministry said.
The Russian Seasons culture festival opened on Sunday with a gala concert by the Mariinsky Theater Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev at the National Academy of St. Cecilia in Rome. More than 250 events, including about 60 symphonic music concerts, more than 50 theatrical productions, around 40 ballet performances and an extensive exhibition program, are planed during the festival, which will last until the end of 2018. The best music and drama groups, renowned performing artists and young talents will be on tour in the Apennines throughout the year.
One of the biggest events will be the guest performance of Russia’s legendary Bolshoi in Milan’s La Scala opera house with the La Bayadere and The Taming of the Shrew ballets. Russia’s Vakhtangov State Academic Theater will present Masquerade and Anna Karenina in Naples at the end of this month.
The Italian Ministry of Culture informed TASS that the Royal Palace of Caserta (built for the Bourbon kings of Naples) would host an exhibition of four Russian Tsars’ residences later this year. The initiative was timed to the 100th anniversary of turning the former suburban palaces of Russian Emperors into state-run museums after the 1917 October Revolution.
TASS has found out that the Italian side is working on arranging a tour of Verona, Gorizia and Milan by the Alexandrov Song and Dance Ensemble of the Russian Armed Forces and by the Moiseyev Folk Dance Ensemble.