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Culture news, 09.07.2004 13:28

Art scheme helps Russian orphans

orphans All 50 pictures were painted by teenage orphans in St Petersburg under a programme which aims to teach every youngster artistic skills that could avoid them falling into prostitution and other negative lifestyles when they leave their institutions.

Money raised from the sale of the paintings in Llangollen will be sent to Russia in the form of art materials for the orphans to use.

The paintings are taking pride of place at Gallery 34, off the town's main car park, because the usual work displayed by the co-operative is on sale at the Eisteddfod's craft pavilion.

"There are 12,000 orphans and 70 orphanages in St Petersburg," said gallery manager Philomena Hearn.

"The charity which runs the art project is trying to give them a skill so that when they leave the orphanages they can at least earn a living. Otherwise they end up doing dodgy things."

The paintings will be on sale at the gallery, in Berwyn Street, throughout July but Mrs Hearn said she hoped visitors to the Eisteddfod would visit the gallery and buy paintings.

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