Days of Dutch culture to be held in Petersburg

The Days of Culture of the Netherlands devoted to the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg will be held in the city on the Neva River on September 15-30.

Relations between the Netherlands and St. Petersburg were established from the moment of the founding of that city by Peter the Great in 1703. Underlying the two countries' interaction today is the programme of joint actions signed during the visit of Queen Beatrice to Russia in 2001.

"In the past few years Russia has turned into the most important foreign-trade partner of the Netherlands in Eastern Europe while the Netherlands has become a major foreign investor of Russia", a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands notes. It is also stressed in it that Russia figures among the thirteen priority countries of the world whose peoples the Netherlands intends to show that it has not only a political and economic weight but also a wealth of culture and art.

The Days of Culture of the Netherlands in St. Petersburg will be held under the motto 'Window to the Netherlands'. "This year this window will open more widely than usual and will become a kind of gift of the Dutch for that city's birthday", the press release stresses. Art exhibitions and films will be shown to the inhabitants of Russia, and music and dance companies will come to St. Petersburg.

The Netherlands also intends to restore the underground casemates of the Gosudarev bastion of the Peter and Paul Fortress. The overall financial contribution of the Netherlands to the celebration of the 300th anniversary of Russia's Northern capital is estimated at euro 1.5 million.

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