The best items of applied art from Veliky Novgorod have traveled to a Christmas fair in Strasbourg.
According to Sergei Pukhachev, the Director of the Novgorod-based art salon Sloboda, the items that were taken to France included Northwestern Russia's traditional wooden engraved and painted objects, dresses and tablecloths made by embroideresses from the Krestetskaya Strochka factory, tea-sets of blue cobalt made by the Vozrozhdenie factory, dolls, straw panels, and various souvenirs.
Beginning Monday, the items will be on display in one of Strasbourg's central squares, which will be given the temporary name of Russian Square.
The Department of External Economic Links and Tourism of the Novgorod Mayor's Office says the exposition, which will be named "Russia Yesterday and Today," will feature works by artists from 18 regions of Russia.
The invitation to present works at the fair came to Veliky Novgorod from the Strasbourg Mayor's Office. The two cities have a long history of contacts in the cultural sphere. For the Sloboda salon, however, it is going to be the first appearance at France's international fair.
The traditional Christmas fair runs until December 31.
In 2003, Sloboda will display works by Novgorod artists and china makers in Strasbourg.