Russian Culture Minister to discuss development of Russo-American cultural links

Summits are a good occasion to consider the level of relations between the United States and the Russian Federation in cultural sphere, Russian Culture Minister Mikhail Shvydkoi, currently in New York, told RIA Novosti.

"New Russia has diverse cultural links with America. The Hermitage and the Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, the Russian State Library and the US Congress Library, the Pushkin State Fine Arts Museum and the Museum of New Heaven boast stable relations. Russian actors often work in the Metropolitan Opera and tour the US," the minister noted.

"Last year saw such major events as the festival of Russian films in Hollywood and the Rakhmaninov Russian-US contest in Pasadena. In addition, we have great resources in the sphere of student contacts, in relations with the US film industry, and in music sphere, especially, music education," Shvydkoi said.

According to him, there are problems in contacts between the Russian and US literary communities, in particular, translations of new prose and drama works.

The Russian side has interesting proposals to hold various Russian festivals from California and Connecticut governors and talks with the New York City Hall on this issue are in progress, the minister noted. Shvydkoi believes that "it's important to estimate prospects for development of relations between the Russian Culture Ministry and culture departments of different American states." "I am going to discuss these issues in New York and Washington with representatives of the Department of State, US businessmen and administrative elite," Shvydkoi said.

As a whole, culture "is a most effective means to create Russia's positive image in the United States," he noted.

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