An extensive exhibition entitled 300 Years of St. Petersburg: Russia, Open to the World will take place between November 11 and 14 in London's Barbican Centre. The exhibition is part of St. Petersburg's 300th anniversary celebrations and will be the largest national exhibition of the last 15 years.
The decision to hold the exhibition was taken by the State Commission chaired by President Vladimir Putin. Russia's seven federal districts and 13 ministries, as well as over 1000 Russian companies and national and regional chambers of commerce and industry, will have their own exhibitions. The total area of the exhibition is 4000 square metres.
The exhibition will be divided into three sections. The first section will tell the history of cultural, diplomatic and trade relations between Russia and Great Britain. The second section will present St. Petersburg's cultural heritage, history and role in the development of the Russian State. The third section will be the most wide-ranging. It will portray contemporary St. Petersburg as one of Russia's most important cultural, industrial, tourist, transport and scientific centres.
'This exhibition is hugely important for Russia,' said Natalya Batozhok, the chairwoman of the 300 Committee, 'primarily, because it will be a rehearsal for our country's appearance at Expo 2010. In addition, a large number of projects relating to the exhibition are planned. These will be attended by VIPs of global stature'. These projects include a performance by the Mariinsky (Kirov) Theatre on November 11, special exhibitions by the Russian Museum and Hermitage Museum, and a meeting of the Worldwide Club of St. Petersburgers.