Norwegians Finance Hall Renovations at St.Pete Dostoyevsky Museum

The Theater at the Fyodor M. Dostoyevsky Literary Memorial Museum in St. Petersburg is to refurbish its hall, with the renovation costs met with money disbursed by the government of the Kingdom of Norway, Norway's Consul General in St. Petersburg, Per A. Tollefsen, told reporters on Wednesday.

Tollefsen said the grant would be one of the biggest gifts that Norway will be offering to Russia's second city, which is nearing its 300th anniversary.

He noted that the Norwegians had long deliberated on what exactly to present St. Petersburg with for the occasion. Norway's Society of the Friends of the Dostoyevsky Museum, which has been cooperating with the institution since 1997, finally came up with a proposal to support the museum.

Tollefsen emphasized that Dostoyevsky is one of the few writers whose whole set of works has been translated into Norwegian. The idea to provide specific help for the museum enjoyed a wide backing in Norway.

He said the museum would be disbursed 500,000 Norwegian krones, or around US$75,000. The money is to be used for renovations in the Museum's Theater hall and for the installation of modern lighting and sound equipment there.

A grand opening of the Theater at the Dostoyevsky Museum is due in early June as part of a Norwegian-Russian cultural week. Norway's Foreign Minister is expected to attend the event.

The hall will open with a premiere of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, staged by director Mikhail Bychkov and his Bely Theater.

The Theater has been part of the Dostoyevsky Museum for 30 years now. It is a venue for the annual Dostoyevsky and World Culture conference bringing together scholars and literary figures from various world countries.

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