President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good evening, friends,
I know that there are two major events today. First, the Culture Fund began working in its historical building. Incidentally, we gathered on the initiative of President of the Russian Culture Fund, Mr Mikhalkov. And second, the Culture Fund is launching a new local history project.
In my view, this is a very important, interesting and useful area of work. It certainly responds to society’s needs. Thankfully, our people are showing more and more interest in Russian culture and their history. I suppose that it is your experts who can talk about our culture studying specific regions in our nation. The first such museums were created about 150 years ago. I hope that the Culture Ministry will also get involved in this work.
Some time ago, Dmitry Likhachev [head of the Culture Fund from its inception in 1986 until 1993, famous scholar and art historian] gave this area a great deal of attention. He did a lot to ensure that this area of work is in demand and raised to the level society needed.
Naturally, it is very important for this work to be engaging and presented in a modern way, so that it motivates people who visit your expositions – local residents, visitors and tourists (and you know, we have a federal programme for developing domestic tourism). I suppose that is the only way to promote the ideas for which these institutions were built and are operating.
If the federal agencies, together with the Culture Ministry and the Presidential Executive Office, can help both the Culture Fund and you directly, we will be very happy.