President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, friends,
I am pleased to welcome the participants of the International Cultural Forum to St Petersburg.
Visiting the Mariinsky Theatre and getting to know the work of its wonderful actors has already become a good tradition for forum guests. And this is hardly surprising.
The legendary Mariinsky is more than its star-studded troupe or one of the world’s best stages. The theatre is well known for its charity activity and high-profile educational projects, and it has proved that culture knows no bounds. The theatre reaffirms this with its creativity and its activity both on the world’s best stages and modest, regional stages in Russia.
All of you who have come together in Russia’s northern capital know this. You know that the kind of art that I just talked about at a meeting with our guests knows no bounds.
You speak this language, the language of art, which needs no translation. Your talent, your spiritual generosity and artistic excellence carry a powerful charge of creativity and goodness, imbuing our world with inspiration, nobility and great spirituality. Unsurprisingly, servants of the muses – artists, poets, actors and musicians – have enormous influence in society.
We rightly take pride in our Russian, national culture and are doing our best to preserve and develop it. Suffice it to mention the fact that the last three years in Russia were devoted to culture.
Thousands of notable, substantive events that took place during the years of culture, literature and the cinema have attracted millions of people and opened up new horizons of knowledge and emotions to them.
I am sure that forum participants remember how we closed the Year of Literature here at the Mariinsky, which was a tremendous success.
Today, the Year of the Russian Cinema is drawing to a close. Nevertheless, we all understand that official ceremonies around these events are purely symbolic. After all, the work to promote creative projects, collectives, and educational establishments will continue. Especially considering that the “themed” years have generated considerable, deep interest in society, which certainly needs further support. And this is what we will continue to do.
These questions are also addressed in St Petersburg at the International Cultural Forum. I am convinced that at these meetings, you, its participants, who represent the entire spectrum of culture, will be able to find appropriate answers to the questions posed by the present times.
Allow me to wish you fruitful work, creative success and all the very best.
Thank you for being here. Thank you very much.