Greeting of Antonio Zanardi Landi, the ambassador of Italy to the Russian Federation
It is my great honour to present to the public this bilingual special issue of the “Tretyakov Gallery Magazine”, which is dedicated to Italian art and is published during the Year of Italian Language and Culture in Russia.
There is no doubt that in 2011 we brought our best art to Russia: the largest exhibition of Caravaggio’s paintings ever shown by Italian museums outside of Italy, and “The Antiquities of Herculaneum” show of frescos discovered during archaeological excavations in the 18th century, as well as bronze and marble sculptures more than three meters tall; the La Scala orchestra and ballet tour hosted by the Bolshoi Theatre, newly-opened after years of its renovation, and Italy’s participation in the Moscow International Book Fair as an honorary guest.
Close to 400 events were held within the framework of the Year of Italian Language and Culture in Russia - in Moscow, St. Petersburg and 35 other Russian cities. These events were a great success with the public and enjoyed wide coverage in the Russian media. 50 of those events took place at the premises and in the garden of the Italian Embassy in Moscow. One certainly stands out - “Masterpieces from Museums of Italy. From Rafael to Caravaggio”, a series of exhibitions organized by the Director of the Polo Museale in Rome, Rossella Vodret. These exhibitions presented masterpieces of Italian Renaissance and Baroque art by such celebrated masters as Rafael and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Lorenzo Lotto, Giovanni Bellini and Caravaggio, and were first displayed at the Embassy and later at the premier museums of Moscow.
Another example of great success is the series of gatherings “Coffee with...”, which were held at the Embassy and provided prominent writers, musicians, stage and cinema directors and photographers with a venue to discuss the eternal questions of the discourse between antiquity and modernity.
During this year, my co-workers and I had a chance to further understand the magnificent and diverse Italian cultural heritage, as well as the Russian people’s passionate love (an expression quite appropriate here!) of Italian art and culture. In conclusion, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Russian authorities, who supported us as we brought our wonderful projects to fruition; to the Institute of Italian Culture in Moscow, and to my co-workers, who made this year’s success a reality.
Antonio Zanardi Landi,
Ambassador of Italy in Moscow