The opening ceremony of cross-years took place in Athens. The co-chairs of the Organising Committee – Deputy Prime Minister and Chief of Staff of the Government Executive Office Sergei Prikhodko and Minister of Culture and Sports of the Hellenic Republic Aristides Baltas announced the start of the events. During the ceremony, they signed a joint statement and exchanged lists of events planned as part of the cross-years.
“We didn’t see any crisis during our short stay in Athens but we saw that Greece was genuinely interested in what was taking place today – an event that is important for both Russia and Greece. Here, in the most visited museum in Greece, we are opening an exhibition of Scythian gold from the State Hermitage Collection and officially launch the cross-years. Two Presidents – Vladimir Putin and Prokopis Pavlopoulos – spoke about the start of this important event,” Mr Prikhodko said at the ceremony.
He noted that during the talks the co-chairs of the Organising Committee and the delegations briefly exchanged their opinions on what has been done since January and what they will do in the near future.
“I believe the cross-years of Greece and Russia are a unique project that reflects the special character of our bilateral relations. Our cooperation has always rested on the deep interest and empathy that the Russian and Greek people feel for each other. It would be no exaggeration to say that Russians and Greeks are united by thousands of links – historical, spiritual, cultural, business and simply human,” Mr Prikhodko said.
For his part, Mr Baltas said that the cross-years open prospects for cooperation in all areas, be it culture, tourism, industry or technology exchange. “These prospects will serve the interests of both our nations,” he said.
The co-chairs opened the exhibition of Scythian gold items from the State Hermitage Collection, which were made by ancient Greek craftsmen. A vase with a genre scene, a flat sacrifice bowl and a twisted torc with figurines at the ends were discovered during archaeological expeditions in the first half of the 19th century and are part of the ancient Scythian unique cultural heritage.