Indian Prime Minister Visits Russian Museum

Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, currently on an official visit to Russia, attended the State Russian Museum on Monday. Russian Vice Premier Ilya Klebanov accompanied the distinguished Indian guest. Atal Bihari Vajpayee saw a small exhibition, "India in Russian Art", that the museum staff had specially arranged for his visit. At the exhibition were displayed drawings and lithographs by Prince Aleksei Saltykov who had visited India twice in the 1840s and left literary descriptions and sketches of the country. The Indian Prime Minister saw the album of lithographies "The Indians" published in Paris in 1850 on the basis of the works by Saltykov. Then, the Indian Premier looked around the halls containing the works of Russian artists from the second half of the 19th century. Vajpayee expressed his admiration for the collection of the Russian Museum and his gratitude to the museum curators for its collections. Finally, Atal Bihari Vajpayee made a note in the honoured guests' book - he expressed his hopes to visit St. Petersburg again. The director of the Russian Museum presented the Indian Prime Minister with a museum guide in English and an album-catalogue of the exhibition "A Fairy-Tale in Russian Art".

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