Ankara hosts contemporary art exhibition where Russia is main guest

09 March 2023

The ninth fair of contemporary art "Art-Ankara", where Russia is the chief guest, opened on Wednesday in Ankara, TASS correspondent reports.


During the opening ceremony the organizers stressed that the slogan "Yes to Art" is the core message of the fair. As the organizers admitted it was not easy for them to decide to hold the event in March, because Turkey had not yet recovered from the consequences of the earthquakes that killed more than 46 thousand people.

Russia's Ambassador to Turkey Alexei Yerkhov agreed with the organizers' decision, noting that the Russian people shared the grief of the republic's residents. "This is the right and wise decision. Of course, there were doubts, because the country has been struck by grief. We in Russia share the grief of the Turkish people and sympathize with them, but life goes on. People need art. To paraphrase the words of our great poet Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin: "The voice of the poet, the voice of artists must sound a bell in the days of people's celebrations and troubles." "People need art not only in days of joy and celebration, they also need it in moments of grief and in moments of pain. It certainly helps heal souls," he said.

Talking with a TASS reporter at the opening of the 9th exhibition and fair, Head of the Russian House in Ankara Alexander Sotnichenko said that interest in Russian culture and art in Turkey is growing.

"Despite the difficult political situation, Russian culture and art continue to claim their place all over the world and, in particular, in Turkey. A year ago Russian artists participated in the "Art-Ankara" exhibition, and now they are here in even greater numbers with more works. There is a growing interest in Russian art in Turkey, and we hope that this process will continue. We receive constant proposals for the participation of Russian cultural figures in various events in Turkey. In particular, we have received a proposal that we are now considering to make Russia the main guest at the book exhibition in Antalya scheduled for late April or early May this year," Sotnichenko emphasized.

In March 2022, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the attacks on students and cultural figures from Russia in some countries because of the events in Ukraine a manifestation of fascism. He stressed that Turkey condemns such actions and considers them unacceptable. The Turkish president also compared what was happening to a "witch hunt."

Exhibition-fair "Art-Ankara"

The exhibition-fair "Art-Ankara" will be open for visitors until March 12 in the "ATO Congressium" exhibition complex. The Russian section has more than 300 works of art from the Russian Federation. On March 9, a concert organized by the Ministry of culture of the Russian Federation will be held on the stage of the exhibition hall, which will be dedicated to the memory of Pushkin.



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: Şinasi Müldür/Pixabay

Based on materials from TASS