Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for the exposition of Leonrado da Vinci's "Madonna Litta" from the Hermitage collection in Rome.
"Thank you very much, Mr. President. I am glad for the possibility to host this exhibition," Ciampi said at the opening ceremony. "Art lovers will be able to enjoy one of Leonardo's best masterpieces till December 10," he noted.
Ciamoi recalled several moments from Leonardo da Vinci's biography and said that "love for art brings nations together". The Italian President believes that the current exposition will help "to create common European museum space which is a cherished dream of all Europeans".
Vladimir Putin expressed believe that Italian art connoisseurs will enjoy Leonardo da Vinci's painting.
"Madonna Litta" is exhibited in the Bandieri Hall in a glass case and is enclosed with a red cord to prevent visitors from approaching the painting by less than 50 centimeters. The Russian and Italian Presidents and their wives, Lyudmila Putin and Franca Ciampi and members of the Italian and Russian delegations including Hermitage Director Mikhail Piotrovsky and Russian Culture Minister Mikhail Shvydkoi attended the opening ceremony.