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April 20
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Today marked the opening of an exhibition of exclusive samples of Italian art held under the auspices of the Presidents of Armenia and Italy at the presidential residence in Armenia. The four 18th century paintings brought from the Paolo and Carolina Zani Foundation and portraying the St. Marcos Square in Venice are the works of renowned masters Giovanni Antonio Canaletto, Bernardo Bellotto, Francesco Guardi and Michele Marieschi.

Opening the exhibition, President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian stated that it attests to the historical and current deep, close, friendly and cordial relations between the peoples of Armenia and Italy. “The President and Ambassador of Italy and I talked about the exhibition about a year ago. This exhibition is actually bilateral since, according to an agreement, Armenia will hold an exhibition in Italy, and the paintings will be showcased in the palace of the President of Italy. It is scheduled to take place during the state visit of the President of Armenia to Italy,” he said.

Touching upon the exhibited paintings, President Sarkissian viewed them as the best samples of world painting. “The paintings are linked to Venice, a city that is very close to Armenians’ hearts because of not only the Mekhitarist Congregation, but also Armenian merchants who have been linked to Venice for centuries. To this day, there is a tremendous Armenian presence at the University of Venice. In a sense, Venice is also an Armenian city,” Sarkissian said.

The head of state also highly appreciated the role that the Embassy of Italy in Armenia and Ambassador Vincenzo Del Monaco played in organizing the exhibition.

Ambassador Vincenzo Del Monaco expressed gratitude to the presidents of both countries for the cultural initiative and stated the following: “This initiative is just the beginning since Armenian culture will also be presented in Rome soon. The four exhibited paintings were specifically selected since each of them conveys a special meaning. They portray the 18th century, which was an exceptional period for the relations between Italy and Armenia.”

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