US ex-president George Bush Sr. has become the first winner of the Peter the Great prize founded by St. Petersburg international centre for preserving the cultural heritage. On behalf of her father the daughter of the US ex-president, Dorothy Bush Koch received this prize on Tuesday at the Russian embassy in Washington. In an interview given to RIA Novosti she stressed that George Bush Sr. always highly assessed his relations with Russia. That is why this award is a great honour for him, Dorothy Bush said. During the ceremony, Russian ambassador to the USA Yuri Ushakov pointed out that Russia things highly of George Bush Sr. for his "wisdom, leadership, courage and his role in the recent history of Russian-American relations." The Peter the Great prize is a bust of the Russian emperor which represents the exact copy of the bust ordered in honour of Peter the Great by emperor Alexander III in the beginning of the 1880s. The statuette was made at the Lomonosov porcelain factory in St. Petersburg. The St. Petersburg international centre for preserving the cultural heritage was founded in 1994 by the Mayor's office of the city, the Russian academy of sciences and the Los Angeles conservation centre named after Paul Getti (California). The main task of the centre is to conduct research in protecting the cultural monuments and draw international attention and resources for preserving the rich cultural heritage of St. Petersburg. An expert council is functioning at the centre. Russian minister of culture Mikhail Shvydkoi, director of Hermitage Mikhail Piotrovsky as well as heads of several leading libraries and museums of St. Petersburg are members of this council.
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