On the first day of IV St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum was held plenary session dedicated to the 70th anniversary of UNESCO. It was held in the Atrium of the General Staff of the Hermitage. The participants discussed the activities of UNESCO in the field of culture, education and science in Russia and worldwide. The speeches were made by President Vladimir Putin, UNESCO Director-General Mrs. Irina Bokova and the President of the Union of Museums of Russia and director of the State Hermitage Mikhail Piotrovsky.
One of the central events of the first day of the IV St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum was the plenary session devoted to the 70th anniversary of UNESCO, which was attended by heads of sections, leading Russian and foreign culture and art figures, as well as politicians. They made presentations on the activities of UNESCO in the field of culture, education and science in Russia and worldwide.
Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the value of St. Petersburg - the city where traditionally is held the St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum - as the one of the jewels of the world cultural heritage is undeniable, but it is not only famous for its magnificent architecture and rich artistic heritage. "This is a city of great destiny, that had its triumphs and ordeal. It remembers the greatest fortitude of its people during the Second World War, and it is a symbol of the victory of life over death, the triumph of human dignity over barbarism, of cruelty. Here is felt with particular force the importance of UNESCO's mission: the union for the sake of peace and human development, for promoting the values of humanism and education ", - said Vladimir Putin.
UNESCO Director-General Mrs. Irina Bokova spoke of the threat that is hanging over the world culture today, and noted what actions are taken in this difficult situation. "We all know that today culture is under threat. This is happening in Iraq and Syria, as well as in many other countries of the world where extremists are destroying the common heritage of mankind. I think that the extremists are afraid of culture, because it carries the values of tolerance and mutual understanding, inciting their ideology of hatred. We need to demonstrate the vital importance of culture and promote its prosperity, flourishing music, fine arts and literature, and its establishment as a means to protect human rights and dignity."
Mikhail Piotrovsky noted the need for education of the representatives of the authorities and ordinary citizens, of understand that to destroy culture and distort its natural course is prohibited in any case. "Culture should make peace, not strife, and sometimes it happens, - said Mikhail Piotrovsky. - I believe that our Declaration of the Forum should be a continuation of these ideas, make them concrete expression and create real legal mechanisms for the international protection of culture. Since the time of the Likhachev declaration threat has increased and has become much more diverse. We need to raise in authorities and people a subconscious understanding that ruining the culture and distorting its natural course is prohibited by the literal and moral law. Because it is always unacceptable."
We recall that in honor of the 70th anniversary of UNESCO in the events of each section of the Forum will be attended by experts from international organizations: Goodwill Ambassadors, members of committees, representatives of the international expert community in education, science and culture.