Venice, March 9, 2011
The first Center for Russian Cultural Studies in the Apennines opened at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice on Sunday.
Certificate on transferring 21 568 books on religious history, theology, philosophy from various libraries of Northern Italy and papal universities of Rome was given to the Moscow Theological Academy.
Russia's First Lady Svetlana Medvedeva, Russian Culture Minister Alexander Avdeyev, Italian Education Minister Maria Stella Gelmini, Venice Mayor Giorgio Orsoni and other high-ranking officials from both countries participated in the ceremony.
The Center set up with participation of the Foundation for Socio-Cultural Initiatives led by Medvedeva will operate at the Chair of the Russian Language and Culture, one of the oldest and most prominent research bases for Russian Studies in Italy.
"The Center will provide comprehensive assistance to research and public organizations in studying Russia's cultural and historical legacy and the Russian language. It will carry out research and educational work. The Center is also meant to help strengthen contacts between the two countries' largest arts and culture institutions," Medvedeva said.
The Ca' Foscari University, founded in 1868 as the first business school in Italy, is now more known as one of the best schools for language studies. It teaches 40 languages, including Russian, with its Chair of Russian being one of the first of its kind in Italy. The university pays particular attention to art criticism.
The university has 18,000 alumni, including 600 students of Russian Art taught by the leading professors of Slavic Studies.