RIYADH, October 15. /TASS/. Moscow and Riyadh on Monday signed an agreement to cooperate in various sectors of culture, to organize joint events and exchange personnel.
The deal was signed by Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky and his Saudi counterpart Badr bin Farhan Al-Saud on the sidelines of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s state visit to the country.
"This is a traditional framework agreement signed by the culture ministries of Russia and of our partner nations. It facilitates direct cooperation between our cultural institutions, museums, theaters, production associations and underlines the special relations between our nations," Medinsky told reporters.
In his words, the most interesting project to be carried out within the framework of the agreement will be the project of cooperation between Russia’s Hermitage Museum and a group of Russian museums on one side, and the Culture Ministry of Saudi Arabia on the other.
"Negotiations in that regard are in full swing. I hope we would achieve any kind of agreement by the end of the year," the Russian culture minister said.
Russia and Saudi Arabia will also cooperate in museum affairs, librarianship and filmmaking. The memorandum also envisages exchange programs for culture sector employees and performers.
The deal also envisages mutual invitations to natural culture festivals and joint participation in cultural and art events.
The memorandum is valid for five years and can be extended by mutual consent of the sides.
Medinsky told reporters during his visit to Saudi Arabia that the kingdom will take part in St. Petersburg International Culture Forum in 2021, to which it had been invited as a guest.
"At present, we have reached an agreement with the Saudi side about the participation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the St. Petersburg International Culture Forum in 2021 as a guest nation," he said.
The Russian minister also took part in the opening ceremony of the Culture of Russia in Riyadh event at the King Fahd Cultural Center in the Saudi capital, a TASS correspondent reported. The display will include an exhibition of 19 paintings by Vasily Kandinsky, presented by St. Petersburg’s Russian Museum, and the international exhibition of contemporary art "Artificial Intelligence and the Dialogue of Cultures."
"Today we are opening a wonderful event - the month of Russian culture in Saudi Arabia, during which residents of Riyadh will have an opportunity to see an exhibition of Kandinsky’s paintings," Medinsky said. "Besides, the Russian Film Week will be held, during which Russian and Soviet films will be screened in Saudi Arabia for the first time."
"In addition, an exhibition that enjoyed great success in St. Petersburg will also be opened. It features artworks created with the help of artificial intelligence and most unexpected, newest materials," the Russian minister added.