Minister of Culture and Sports HE Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali, paid a formal visit to Russia from November 15 to 17.
The minister’s visit was to participate in the VI St Petersburg International Cultural Forum and to sign with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Medinsky a joint declaration for co-operation between the Qatari Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Russian Ministry of Culture on preparation for Qatar Russia 2018 Year of Culture.
The visit followed an invitation from the organising committee of the VI St Petersburg International Cultural Forum.
In this context, the minister emphasised that Qatar was keen to co-operate with the Russian side to make the Year of Culture a basic pillar of friendship between the peoples of the two countries, in response to instructions by His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to have stronger relationships with Russia at the State and public levels.
On the sidelines of the forum, HE al-Ali held several events with leaders of participating delegations and exchanged views on modern cultural issues and the role to be played by official cultural institutions to bring people closer and to spread mutual understanding, as well as common humanitarian values, the Ministry of Culture and Sports said in a statement.
The minister met Mikhail Piotrovsky, director of the State Hermitage Museum, and discussed with him preparations for the Year of Culture. Piotrovsky expressed his full support for the Year of Culture event, which will be titled, ‘Qatar in the Hermitage’ in Russia and ‘The Hermitage in Qatar’. The event will consist of cultural lectures. Al-Ali also met with Vladimir Gusev, director of the Russian Museum, and discussed with him ways of co-operation between the Russian Museum and Qatari museums to hold artistic exhibitions featuring Russian art.
The minister stressed that the Qatari Ministry of Culture and Sports was keen to develop societal awareness of the common values of peoples from different cultures, praising the Russian culture and its impact on human civilisation.
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