Minister of Culture Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa has participated in Gulf Air's inaugural flight to Moscow.
Shaikha Mai affirmed Bahrain's constant keenness to extend bridges of cooperation with all countries, noting that the launch of Gulf Air's new route to Moscow is one of the outcomes of the visit of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to the Russia.
"The air bridge completes the cultural bridge, consolidated by HM the King's recent visit to Russia," she said.
She asserted that Gulf Air’s direct flights to Moscow would enhance tourism, cultural and civilisational exchange between the two friendly countries.
Over the past years, the Ministry of Culture has contributed to strengthening the kingdom's ties with Russia through agreements, seminars, roadshows and visits between officials.
In 2012, the Culture Ministry and the St Petersburg-based State Hermitage Museum signed an agreement on cultural exchange.
In the same year, a Bahraini delegation, led by Culture Minister Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, participated in the 36th session of the UNESCO's World Heritage Committee, held in St Petersburg. The "Pearl Route" Project was awarded UNESCO's World Heritage Status.
HRH Princess Sabeeka inaugurated the Tylos Show in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg in 2012. Then, the show moved to Moscow.
During the same year, the Russian Cultural Days were held here, in cooperation with the Russian Embassy to Bahrain. The event included a wide range of shows and functions.
In 2013, cultural and tourism cooperation was strengthened with the signing of a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) on exchange of cultural activities, in coordination between the two countries' Culture Ministries and the Russian and Bahraini embassies.
Shaikha Mai visited Moscow, where she took part in many events. She attended the opening of the contemporary fine art gallery for Bahraini artists at the Russian Academy of Arts (Zurab Tsereteli Arts Gallery). She was hnoured by the President of the Russian Academy of Arts and Russian President's Advisor for Cultural Affairs Prof. Zurab Konstantines dze Tsereteli, who granted her the honorary membership of the academy in tribute to her tangible role and efforts in supporting arts, preserving the global human heritage in Bahrain and cementing cultural and artistic ties between Bahrain and Russia.
Russia also hosted the fine art expo themed "Contemporary Artists of Bahrain: New Horizons."
The Bahrain Cultural Days were also held in Russia for the aim of consolidating cultural rapprochement between the two countries.
On its part, Bahrain hosted a Russian Textile Exhibition, which was held in the Bahrain National Museum, as part of the MoU signed between the two sides.
In 2014, Culture Ministry's Assistant Under-Secretary for Tourism Shaikh Khalid bin Hmood Al Khalifa held a meeting with a Russian delegation, led by the Russian Culture and Tourism Ministry's Undersecretary for Tourism Affairs Dr. Dmitry Amunts. They discussed ways to enhance bilateral cooperation in the field of tourism.
The Russian artists also participated in the Bahrain Summer Festival for the second year in a row.