Friday, March 05, 2010

International Leaders Find Some Time to Enjoy The Arts

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his wife, Svetlana, visited Paris earlier this week to discuss a possible major military deal between Russia and France. Medvedev spent the week with French president Nicolas Sarkozy, and the two found some time during their visit to put state issues aside and indulge in some of the many cultural pursuits Paris has to offer.

Medvedev and Sarkozy were given special access to the Louvre Museum, which is closed to the public on Tuesdays, for a look at one of the museum’s top exhibits this year.

The exhibition “Holy Russia,” a fitting one for the special guest, features 900 years of Russian art drawn from monasteries and museums around the country and showcases icons from the early years of Russian Orthodox Christianity to the masterpieces of Andrei Rublev in the 15th century up to canvases from the early reign of Peter the Great.

Svetlana Medvedev was joined by Russian Culture Minister François Mitterrand and his Russian counterpart, Alexander Avdeev, on a tour of an exhibition of oil paintings and watercolors by young Russian artists that reflect a romantic view of Russia, with Impressionist-inspired views of the Volga River Valley.

Paris welcomed the Russian visitors with flair. Medvedev arrived at the French capital by helicopter and golden-helmeted guards on horseback led his limousine across the Alexandre III Bridge, named for the second-to-last czar of Russia.

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