Munich unveils monument to Russian poet

While on a routine visit to Germany, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov visited Munich to unveil a monument to the great Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev.

"The unveiling of the monument is a symbolic event in Russian-German relations," Mr Ivanov said at the ceremony on Thursday.

The ceremony rounded off Russia's Year in Germany festival, said the minister. Germany hosted some 900 culture events of all sorts as part of the festival, according to him.

Fyodor Tyutchev was an outstanding poet and a prominent diplomat, who served in the Russian embassy in Munich for about 20 years, recalled Mr Ivanov.

He quoted the poet as saying in 1844: "Russian-German relations have never been as good as they are now." "This is also true of the two countries' current relations," said Mr Ivanov.

He was positive Tyutchev, who worked in the Russian diplomatic mission in Munich for so many years, would have been pleased with Russia's current relations with Germany, Bavaria, in particular.

The poet's bronze, full-length statue was installed near the grotto where, as the legend goes, the Muse visited his great German counterpart, Heinrich Heine.

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