Gavrila Derzhavin museum opens in St Petersburg

The Museum of Gavrila Derzhavin and Russian literature of his time (The Derzhavin cultural education centre) was unveiled in St Petersburg Wednesday. It will be a new branch of the All-Russian Pushkin Museum.

The cultural education centre is housed in a building on the Fontanka river bank, where Gavrila Derzhavin, a great Russian poet and statesmen lived in the 18th century.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Russian Culture Minister Mikhail Shvydkoi, Plenipotentiary Envoy of the Russian President to the Northwest Federal District Valentina Matvienko and prominent culture figures.

"The museum's opening restores historical justice and demonstrates the huge importance of the 18th-century literature for Russian history at large," minister Shvydkoi said. "The 18th-century literature is underrated even in the city of Peter the Great, and the Russian literature is dated back only to the Pushkin epoch - late 18th - early 19th centuries. However, the 19th century's achievements cannot be grasped without understanding the 18th century's literature." Gavrila Derzhavin held the post of state secretary, state treasurer and the minister of justice under Catherine II, Paul I and Alexander I. Shvydkoi believes the new museum aims to return to Russians the understanding of the role Derzhavin's life and creativity played in this country's history.

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