Heir to the Spanish throne to open 2nd festival of Catalan culture in Russia

Felipe, Prince of Asturias and heir to the Spanish throne, is to inaugurate the opening of The Golden Needle, the 2nd Festival of Catalan culture in Russia, on Tuesday.

According to Jordi Vilajoana, the cultural counselor of the Generalitat, or autonomous government, of Catalonia, the program of the festival envisages a number of concerts, exhibitions and film screenings, all dedicated to the Catalan culture. The highlight of the event is an exhibition that was timed to coincide with the 100th birth anniversary of Antonio Gaudi, the famous Catalan architect. Another exhibition is dedicated to the Catalan aristocrat Josep de Rivez, who served as an admiral of the Russian Navy in the 18th century under the name of Iosip Deribas and founded the city of Odessa.

After St. Petersburg, the festival will move on to Moscow, where it will run between July 1 and 14.

According to a source in the External Links Committee of the St. Petersburg administration, the prince will also visit the recently reopened Mikhailovsky Palace and view an exposition dedicated to Peter I at the State Hermitage.

After that, he will pay a visit to the State University of Communications, where he and other officials will unveil a monument to Augustin de Betancourt, a Spanish engineer who worked in Russia in the 19th century and made a substantial contribution to development of railways in Russia.

Further on, Prince Felipe will move on to the Russian National Library to hold a meeting with specialists in Spanish studies and to the Spanish Honorary Consulate-General to St. Petersburg to inaugurate the opening of an exhibition of works by the Spanish artist Eduardo Arroyo.

Leaving St. Petersburg on Tuesday evening, the prince will head towards Moscow. His second in 1.5 years visit to Russia ends on June 27.

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