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    KIDS ON WEB: NO SUBSTITUTE FOR OLD CULTURE FORMS, WARNS RUSSIA'S CULTURE MINISTER

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    MOSCOW, MARCH 2, 2004 (RIA NOVOSTI) - Russia's Culture Ministry had a board session today on introducing children to culture. Acting minister Mikhail Shvydkoi addressed the gathering.

    He called not to carry things too far as kids are introduced to the world web-no virtual culture can come as equal substitute for the real thing. The matter is of primary importance to Russia and the whole world alike. A great many pin their hopes on Internet for children's cultural education, so the web is in crying demand-but the theatre, movies and books have no equal as cultural treasures, and kids are not to be kept away from them.

    Russia has not done enough to accustom its children to culture--but current trends are promising, reassured Mr. Shvydkoi.

    Present-day Russia has 545 stage companies, 150 of them for underage audiences, said the conferees as they proposed to establish a national festival of children's theatres in Moscow, and set up a television company to cater for children.

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