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Russian Icons in Santiago - 21 March, 2003

In Chilean capital Santiago the Russian Cultural Centre is hosting an exhibition of painter Valentina Kuzmina from Moscow, "The Russian Icon in Latin America". The exhibition is devoted to Easter. More than 100 Chilean public figures, representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Chilean clergy, compatriots, Russian universities' graduates attended the opening ceremony where Russian Ambassador to Chile Vladimir Chkhivadze praised the artist's great contribution to the popularisation of Russian culture in Latin America and presented her with a diploma and a memorable medal of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture for her contribution to the development of Russian-Chilean cultural relations.

During her 12-year stay in Chile with her husband Valentin Kuzmin, a staff member of the ECLAC Secretariat, she painted over 100 icons on wooden boards many of which now decorate orthodox churches, museums, universities' galleries and private collections in Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Peru, Costa-Rica and Panama where Kuzmina has already displayed her icons, as well as in the USA and Russia.

In an interview with RIA Novosti, Archbishop of Argentina and South America Platon spoke high of Kuzmina's activities and her noble mission to spread values of the Russian Orthodox Culture in the region.

On the opening day the painter gave Father Veniamin the icon of Annunciation and presented Father Feodosy with the icon of St. Varvara (the two Fathers are senior priests of two orthodox churches in Santiago). Chilean priest Father Renato Poblete, the pupil and follower of Father Urtado, protector of the Chilean poor, received the icon of Padre Urtado as a present.