ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Countries should treat cultures of different countries with an inclusive attitude and work together to preserve cultural heritage, said Russian Culture Minister Olga Lyubimova.
"Cultural heritage should be preserved and promoted without fear of dialogue, and we should be open to accept knowledge from other countries and share this knowledge within our own country," Lyubimova told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum.
The 9th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum, jointly organized by the government of the Russian Federation, the Russian Ministry of Culture and the St. Petersburg government, was held from Nov. 16th to 18th.
After a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 epidemic, about 1,000 cultural figures and more than 50 official delegations gathered in the forum again to discuss such topics as theater, cinema, musical arts and their links to business and economy.
"Although the representatives spoke different languages, and the issues described were also very different, we were united by the desire to preserve the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of our own countries," said Lyubimova.
The participation of the Chinese delegation was very important, she said, adding that some Russian-Chinese agreements on joint creative production and cooperation in education were announced at the forum as well.
Cooperation between Russia and China on culture has been on the rise in recent years, Lyubimova said, citing examples including the 13th International Festival "Russian-Chinese Culture and Art Fair" held in Blagoveshchensk and Heihe, and the Russian cartoon "Smeshariki" that has become so popular in China that its creators designed a new character -- Panda.
Lyubimova believes that the two countries are set to have more cultural exchanges as the years 2024-2025 will be the joint Russia-China years of culture.
"When talking about overseas tours of Russian and Chinese theaters and orchestras, the year 2023 has already been very fruitful," said the Russian minister. "The two countries are now negotiating and preparing a plan for 2024." ■