YEAR OF BELARUS CULTURE OPENS IN RUSSIA

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MOSCOW, April 26 (RIA Novosti) - A Year of Belarus Culture opens in Russia.

The opening ceremony with the participation of Russian Minister of Culture and Mass Communications Alexander Sokolov and Belarus Minister of Culture Leonid Gulyako will take place on Monday in the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, RIA Novosti was told in the Belarus Embassy in the Russian Federation.

Sergei Prokofyev's ballet - Romeo and Juliet will be given in the Bolshoi Theatre on this occasion.

"The festival of Belarus culture in Russia, which will last for a whole year, is not an ordinary action, it is, I would say, a key one in our allied relations," the Belarus Ambassador to Russia Vladimir Grigoryev said.

In the context of the Year of Belarus Culture, about 200 events will take place in Russia. To name but a few: the exhibition of "100 Masterpieces from the National Art Museum of Belarus," guest performances of Belarus variety "stars" in the towns of the so-called "The Gold Ring of Russia," performances of Belarus theatres, demonstration of the best Belarus films within the framework of the Film Festival.

In September, it is planned to unveil a monument in Moscow to Belarus poet Yanka Kupala (1882-1942) and to establish a monument in Kaliningrad to Belarus first printer and enlightener of the 15th -16th centuries Francisc Skorin.

The events of the Belarus art festival will take place not only in Moscow and Saint Petersburg but also in many Russians cities from the Baltic Sea to Siberia.

"The Russian-Belarus cultural contacts have always been very close, they did not stop even at the sharp turns of recent history. The Year of Belarus Culture will help to strengthen even more the bilateral dialogue between our two fraternal peoples," Ambassador Vladimir Grigoryev said.

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