MOSCOW, December 21 (RIA Novosti) - An exhibition of work by Dutch artist Pieter (Piet) Mondrian, a leading figure in modern abstract art, will take place in 2013 at Moscow's Tretyakov Gallery as part of the Year of the Netherlands in Russia, the festival's artistic director, Sjeng Scheijen, told RIA Novosti.
"We're planning to stage about 60 events in all, including concerts, art exhibitions, and guest performances by theatrical companies," he said.
Scheijen also announced that the concurrent Year of Russia in the Netherlands is to kick off in March 2013, with an exhibition devoted to Tsar Peter the Great at the Hermitage Museum affiliate in Amsterdam, followed by an exhibition of Russian avant-garde art in Maastricht.
A Dutch cultural festival will be held next summer in St. Petersburg's New Holland district, with major events of the Year of the Netherlands in Russia scheduled for the autumn.
September will see Dutch Days at Moscow's Gorky Park, featuring various orchestras along with an exhibition of photos and art installations. Then there will be a Mondrian show at the Tretyakov Gallery, running in parallel with an exhibition of group portraits at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.
"Do you remember Rembrandt's 'The Night Watch'? This is a classic example of the kind of group portrait that was unique to the Netherlands in the 18th century," Scheijen explained. "This particular painting is never displayed on loan. We will bring 15 other big canvasses to the Hermitage, including works by masters such as Frans Hals."
Moscow's Pushkin Fine Arts Museum has shown interest in hosting that exhibition, he said. At this point, though, the Dutch side lacks the funding to make it happen: an exhibition in Moscow would cost an estimated 100,000 euros in additional travel and insurance costs.
"Two and a half million euros from the Dutch Treasury have been set aside for the Netherlands-Russia 2013 budget, along with one million from sponsorship. This adds up to 3.5 million euros," the artistic director said.
The exhibition program will continue at Moscow's Contemporary Art Center, which is to host an exhibition of ten Dutch and ten Russian artists, and at the Manezh exhibition center, where examples of Dutch design will be put on display.
The concert program is equally ambitious, Scheijen said. The world-famous Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will appear in a guest performance in St. Petersburg and make two appearances at the Moscow Conservatory. The internationally renowned Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra will also tour the country.
Theater companies from the Netherlands will perform as part of the NET festival and at the Baltiisky Dome Theater in St. Petersburg, he said.
Replying to a reporter's question about what he saw as the major achievements of the Dutch, Scheijen mentioned the Golden Age of Dutch art, Van Gogh, and the tolerance of Dutch society today.
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