Women’s Day, a state holiday in Russia, is celebrated the world over, and the exhibition in Colombo is dedicated to different pieces by various women artists to honour the important event.
The exhibition comprised art photography by famous photographer, Sergey Zhdanov, a bright display of silk paintings by Natalia Akakina as well as traditional Orenburg downy shawls.
The exhibits have travelled all the way from the Museum of Fine Arts in Orenburg, which was first opened in 1961, and is one of the most important cultural centers of the city and region.
Anastasia Khokhlova, director of the Colombo Cultural Centre, said in her address that handcrafted things never go out of style, which is why it is so important to keep recognizing the work of these artists and the significant contributions that they make to society.
Among the special guests at the event were Ambassador of the Russian Federation, Yuri Materi, Dr. Samaan Weerasinghe, Advisor to the President on international affairs, secretary of the Sri Lanka Russia Friendship Society and former Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation. The chief guest was Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.
The ceremony was opened with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by the guest speakers and representatives of the local elite and Russian and foreign diplomats.
The director of the Museum, Yuri Komlev, spoke on the symbolism of the name of the project, "Orenburg is the heart of Eurasia’. He explained that the city is located on the Ural River, geographically dividing the two continents.
In his address, Yuri Materi talked about the importance of the exhibition in developing cultural relations between Russia and Sri Lanka and said that it is the first but hopefully "not the last one that we will see".
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya expressed his belief that business success can only be underpinned by cultural development as it promotes a better understanding of a country, which is why events like these are so important as they provide a mutual benefit to both countries.
The ceremony ended with the presentation of a collection of books and artworks on Alexander Pushkin to the Russian Centre library and a book of Russian paintings to Karu Jayasuriya.
Visitors then had the opportunity to explore the exhibition in detail before sharing refreshments together.
The exhibition project ‘The Orenburg Region of Russia -The Heart of Eurasia’ will continue till today (10).