German-Russian "Culture Ship" to make Dusseldorf -Passau voyage

On Saturday 31st a German-Russian "Culture Ship" leaves Dusseldorf on the Rein for Passau on the Danube.

According to representative of the organisation committee Kristiane Towar, this unusual project under the slogan "Father Rein and Mother Volga: a dialogue of cultures" was organised in the framework of the Year of Russian Culture in Germany. About 90 culture workers, political scientists, literary critics, musicians and artists of different genres from Germany and Russia have been invited to participate in the voyage.

In two weeks they will sail through Germany's five federal lands on the Rein, Main and Danube and visit 18 German cities. On their way the "Culture Ship" participants will take part in numerous "round-table" discussions, concerts and performances, while the Russians will also be able to know better the history and sights of cities and regions in south-western Germany.

The programme of the discussions envisages exchange of opinions on such topics as "Russia-Germany strategic partnership", "Development of brotherly relations and contacts", "Cultural and youth exchange" between the two countries.

The culture worker and political scientists invited to participate in the action will not be only passengers as anyone willing to join them can buy tickets for the voyage. "Many German families and citizens interested in Russian culture took the chance," Towar pointed out.

During his recent visit to Berlin Russian Culture Minister Mikhail Shvydkoy stated that 2004 would see the second, Russian half of the "Culture Ship" action. During this part Russia and German culture workers will sail from St. Petersburg to Kazan and then to Astrakhan /a city in the Volga delta/.

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