About 350 Russian, Finnish Cultural Figures, Officials to Attend Bilateral Cultural Forum in Lapperanta, October 9

About 350 Russian and Finnish cultural figures and officials will attend the 3rd bilateral cultural forum in Lapperanta, Finland, October 9 through 11. Reporters were told about the principal items on the forum's agenda during the press conference held by the Finland-Russia society today. According to the preliminary applications for participation, the heads of practically all departments of culture of Russia's Northwest and four Finnish province governors and the representatives of several Finnish ministries will attend.

Traditionally, the first day of the forum will be given to negotiations between future partners, the participants of joint projects. The Finns have already suggested 80 such projects of 100 possible. According to Paula Tuomikoski, the Finnish coordinator of the forum, a governmental advisor from the Ministry of Education, the Russians have already found 78 partners to take part in these projects. 'The previous experience of similar forums showed that when carrying out joint projects, the weak point is not financing but the insufficiency of information about the potential partners, she said.

Chosen for this time as the principal areas of cooperation are library business and literature, fine arts and artistic education, concert activities and the teaching of music, museum work, choreography and circus, folk crafts, applied arts, photography and cinematography, and the education of cultural workers. The meetings of partners will be taken to participants' workplaces, libraries, museums, schools, etc. The participants of the forum will also do some sightseeing around the town of Lapperanta and its castle once reconstructed under the supervision of Generalissimo Alexander Suvorov.

Two topics have been suggested for the second day: 'Lapperanta as the Place where the East Meets the West' and 'Cultural Cooperation between Border Regions'. On the third day, partners will work together and special interest seminars will be held. There were no seminars at the forum before. The chosen topics are: 'The Castles of Russia and Finland and Their Inclusion in a Single Tourist Route', 'The Jubilee Celebrations in St. Petersburg, Petrozavodsk, and Vyborg and the Participation in Them of Finnish Partners', and finally, 'The Train Of Culture: Oulu-Arkhangelsk'.

The 4th Russian-Finnish cultural forum will be held in St. Petersburg, September 11 through 13, 2003. Its central topic will be the youth culture. Because Russia and Finland alternate as the hosts of these forums, Turku, St. Petersburg's sister city, has already offered itself as the next host.

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