Alexander Zhuravsky: sanctions will not obstruct cultural cooperation with Europe

“Cultural heritage preservation – priority national project” plenary session has gathered state officials and cultural figures from Europe and Russian at the V St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum.



During the last year the Ministry of Culture worked on a draft of a bill on preservation of cultural values, which was included in the list of national projects. Preservation of culture in Russia has to become a national priority. According to experts, the process progresses rather slowly, the Russian society doesn’t fully realize what this protection will be like. Therefore we decided to turn to foreign experience.


“No sanctions will prevent us from communicating, establishing horizontal connections, creating joint projects. Traces of influence of European cultures in Russia and Saint Petersburg prove the necessity of international cooperation. Historical heritage is what forms the historical memory of the nation. It is not a coincidence that the European Union has pronounced 2018 the year of European cultural heritage and adopts necessary documents – because cultural basis is the foundation of the European identity”, - said the deputy minister of culture of the Russian Federation Alexander Zhuravsky.


Vice-president of the Parks and Gardens of France foundation, duchess Mari-Sol de la Tour d’Auvergne is happy to share her rich experience in preserving historical heritage in Russia, which is closely connected with France in terms of culture. She also noted that France has to learn something as well: unlike Russia, from almost 40 thousand officially registered cultural monuments 28 thousand belong to private collections, which obstructs protection of the state.


The general consul of Italy Leonardo Bencini delivered a speech in Saint Petersburg. “Long before Italy became a united state we tried to protect our cultural heritage, and this is established in our constitution. Italy itself is an object of cultural heritage and a museum. Over many decades we learned a lot about managing this heritage, and we will try to share our experience”, - he said.


Bencini emphasized that lately Italy has been paying more attention not just to antique and renaissance heritage, but to new objects of art, which require protection, as well. For that purpose a special directorate of the Ministry of Culture keeps record of monuments of the post-war period. That includes industrial architecture – abandoned factories can be used as cultural objects, which will be discussed at the Cultural Forum.