21 февраля

Speech by Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Norway Teymuraz Ramishvili at the opening ceremony of the exhibition of art works from the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery in the Munch Museum, Oslo, February 21, 2019

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

I congratulate organizers and guests on the opening of the first “exchange” exhibition of the Munch Museum and the State Tretyakov Gallery the collection of which is the pride of the Russian art. I hope that the project will be successful, and we will see the exhibition of Russian avant-garde and the exhibition of Russian contemporary art in a new building of the Munch Museum in 2022.

The exhibition “The Swan Princess” includes the works of prominent Russian painters - Mikhail Vrubel, Isaac Levitan, Viktor Vasnetsov who were inspired by fairytales, myphological stories and national folklore tradition in search of national and cultural identity at the turn of 19th and 20th centuries. The trends were common not only for Russian artists but also for painters from Norway and other Northern European countries – the works presented at the exhibition fully demonstrate common features and similarities of Russian and Northern European art. It’s interesting that founder of the Tretyakov Gallery, collector and patron of arts Pavel Tretyakov actively supported Russian artists who were interested in the North and who reflected natural beauties of the Northern land in their works during journeys to the North of Europe, including to Norway.

The opening of the exhibition is an important event in the museum exchange practice between Russia and Norway. Nowadays, in a situation when the cooperation between our countries is limited due to existing political disagreements, it is critically important to strengthen efforts to promote bilateral cooperation in cultural and humanitarian spheres.

In October 2019 a very significant both for Russians and Norwegians event will take place – the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Northern Norway from Nazi German invaders by the Soviet Army. Preserving the memory of our common historic heritage is a basis for Russian and Norwegian relations today and in the future. I’m sure that anniversary commemorations planned together with the Norwegian side will be beneficial to our bilateral cooperation.

Today’s event aims to show the importance of joint exhibitions’ role for mutual enrichment of cultures and strengthening mutual understanding between our nations connected by many centuries of good neighborhood. I’m sure that it will be remembered not only as an outstanding event in the cultural life of Oslo and an example of professional cooperation between Russian and Norwegian museums. Will give impetus to enrichment and further development of Russian-Norwegian cooperation in the cultural sphere.

I wish success to the organizers, to amateurs and experts - good and unforgettable impressions.

Thank you for your attention.