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City news, 25.11.2004 11:03

Northern Culture Show

norway_culture_week The St Petersburg Times

By Matthew Duncan and Angelina Davydova

The largest collaborative project between Norway and Russia in the sphere of culture, an exhibition charting 1,000 years of the two countries' cultural, scientific and political relations, is coming to St. Petersburg in 2005.

The exhibition, entitled simply "Norway-Russia" is scheduled to open in April 2005 and run until the end of June in the Russian Ethnographic Museum. According to Norwegian Consul General, Otto H. Mamelund, the exhibition aims to "expose cultural, political and scientific relations going back 1000 years" in an effort to broaden the countries' knowledge of each other and promote mutual understanding between its people.

"It's a huge exhibition with thousands of items on display," Mamelund said. "The catalogue for the exhibition alone, which contains articles by Russian and Finnish experts, weighs three kilograms!"

Mr Mamelund is keen to stress the collaborative nature of the exhibition. "The artefacts for these exhibits have been gathered from museums throughout Norway and Russia.

"A good deal of new research has been done, charting the history of relations between the two countries from the earliest Vikin-Pomor trade through to collaborations between Russian and Norwegian authors, composers and scientists right up to the present day," he said.

Earlier this year the exhibition was shown in Oslo at the Norwegian Folk Museum, where it was a great success.

To mark the end of the collaboration, at the end of June, the Norwegian Royal Opera will be coming to St. Petersburg, performing Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg's famous "Peer Gynt" at the Marinsky Theater. Other events are also being planned to coincide with the celebration.

Mumelund believes the exhibition is a very good thing for Russian-Norwegian relations. "Russian- Norwegian relations are very good at the moment, expanding both in width and depth and economic cooperation between us is also growing all the time."

In the meantime, more Norwegian cultural events are expected in St. Petersburg both at the end of this year and in 2005 (see box).

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(c) 2000