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    RUSSIAN FILM DIRECTOR DECORATED WITH ITALIAN KNIGHT GRAND CROSS ORDER

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    ROME, February 10, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Igor Pushkarsky). On Tuesday Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi decorated Russian film director Nikita Mikhalkov with the Knight Grand Cross Order.

    "This is not only my private recognition, this is the recognition of the greatness of Russian culture," Mikhalkov said after the awarding ceremony at Quirinale Palace.

    The Russian film director was also decorated with Vittorio de Sica's award along with a large group of Italian and foreign scientists, art, public and culture figures. The award was established in 1975, a year after the death of the great Italian film director.

    Nikita Mikhalkov is well known in Italy, where he shot many of his films, including "The Black Eyes" with Marcello Mastroianni starring. Mikhalkov assembled some of his films at a film studio in Rome's suburbs.

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