On 16 September 2021, the "France and Russia: Ten Centuries Together" exhibition opened in the Moscow Kremlin Museums. The pieces from French, British and Russian collections, such as the Versailles, National Library of France, Victoria and Albert Museum and many others, allow discovering the history of cultural and diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The Ambassador of France to Russia Pierre Lévy, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation A.V. Grushko, Special Representative of the Russian President for international cultural cooperation M.E. Shvydkoy, Director of the Museums and External Affairs Department of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation A.N. Voronko participated in the exhibition opening ceremony.
"In the Moscow Kremlin Museums, we are opening an exhibition dedicated to a long, complex, beautiful relationship, both diplomatic and cultural, between the two countries – Russia and France. The history of this relationship is very long indeed. It began in the 11th century, with Anna Yaroslavna, the daughter of the Great Prince Yaroslav the Wise, coming to France as the bride of Henry I and later becoming the queen of France, and continues to this day. Our shared history has known both periods of phenomenal rapprochement and rather difficult times associated, in particular, with the Napoleonic Wars. This is the history we would like to tell at this exhibition and show how close relations between France and Russia have been for almost a millennium", said Elena Gagarina, Director General of Moscow Kremlin Museums. She also thanked the sponsors of the exhibition PAO Promsvyazbank and the gold mining company Polyus.
Alexander Grushko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation said, "In our world, despite different approaches to political problems and issues of the modern world, a very positive atmosphere of our relations is preserved, the political dialogue is developing, mutual cultural relations and sympathy of the two nations for each other constitute a very solid basis for bilateral relations. And this year is no exception: we have a huge number of events; the confirmation of this is a rich program of the Cross Year of Regional Cooperation between Russia and France. I believe this exhibition will become another significant contribution to the strengthening of friendly and good neighbourly relations between our countries".
The words of respect and gratitude were expressed by Mikhail Shvydkoy, Special Representative of the Russian President for international cultural cooperation, addressing to the creators of the exhibition and all those present, "Without pandemics and quarantines, this exhibition is worthy of the presence of the two presidents, it is worthy of the highest official ceremonies. It is indeed a Kremlin gift to the Russian people from the Kremlin Museums and France. And it is a great joy to be here today. We are all into luck. One can see 200 pieces on display, but simply walking up to the Reims Gospel – and it will remain in your soul for life, and in a sense, maybe, even enlighten all of us, because the greatest people in the history of France and the history of Russia have touched it".
The "France and Russia: Ten Centuries Together" exhibition is on till 9 January 2022.