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SAINT PETERSBURG, JANUARY 24, ARMENPRESS: Within the frameworks of the Armenian Year in Russia exhibition of “Treasures of St. Etchmiadzin” kicked off today in State Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

Armenian ambassador to Russia Armen Smbatian said that taking into consideration the role Etchmiadzin has played in the lives of the Armenians it was decided to start the Year in Russia by presenting first of all its cultural relics. The exhibition presents 25 church samples, including relic of “Noyan Tapan”, relic of St. Cross etc.

Presenting the ties existing between the Hermitage and Armenia, the director of State Hermitage Mikhail Pyatrovski said that during this year the Armenian collections presented in Hermitage will be restored, their showing rooms will be renovated and “Armenian Day” will be organized. Besides, in 2007 an international conference dedicated to Armenia will be organized in the museum.

“It is high time to give new impetus to the relations between the two countries and we must do everything so that the new generation will know about Armenian culture as much as their parents do,” said the director of the Hermitage and noted that in near future he is going to visit Armenia and discuss cooperation programs with the leadership of the History Institute of the National Academy of Sciences and National Gallery. The director of the Hermitage is also going to give lectures in Armenian higher educational establishments. The exhibition will last until February 19, afterwards it will be moved to Moscow and presented at the Pushkin museum.

The closing ceremony of the Armenian Year in Russia will also be organized in St. Petersburg. The Armenian delegation also met today with the leadership of St. Petersburg. The sides discussed issues on developing cultural, scientific, educational cooperation between Armenia and St. Petersburg. They also reached agreement on adopting program on trade-economic, scientific-technological and cultural cooperation between Petersburg government and Yerevan municipality.

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