Fourth day of St. Petersburg's 300th anniversary

The fourth day of the ten-day celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Northern Capital, or the former capital of the Russian Empire, is dedicated to "intellectual St. Petersburg, the City of Prospects." In a ceremony staged at the research center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, six of St. Petersburg's most outstanding scientists will receive personal bonuses. Later on at the same place, the city of St. Petersburg will be handed a document certifying that the name of St. Petersburg-300 was given to an asteroid that astronomers from the Crimean Observatory had discovered on September 26, 1978. The tiny planet has a diameter of 18 kilometers and is part of the asteroid belt situated between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The closest it comes to the Sun and the Earth is 476 million and 314 million kilometers respectively.

A special present is waiting to be placed in the hands of future scientists, the students of St. Petersburg. The present is a labyrinth made up of stones brought to St. Petersburg from about 300 Russian and foreign higher educational establishments, which were and arranged into a maze in the yard facing the philological department of the St. Petersburg State University. The sculptural composition recalls Peter the Great's tradition of ordering every traveller coming to the Northern Paradise to donate a stone to the city. Apart from that, the labyrinth symbolizes education and knowledge and will keep growing as new stones will be added to it, becoming eventually a monument consisting of bits of the world culture, the stones acting as the messengers and "representatives" of various nations and languages.

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