A delegation of museum experts from Russia has been learning about Bath’s heritage attractions as part of a visit designed to forge stronger links with England.
Visiting the Victoria Art Gallery featuring (left to right): Stephen Bird, Head of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Heritage Services; Dr Elena Gagarina, General Director of the Kremlin Museums; and Cllr Rob Appleyard, Chairman of Bath & North East Somerset Council.
The group of 12 senior managers and curators from Russia’s Kremlin Museums is making a study visit to southern England during April to learn more about UK architecture, heritage sites and museum collections.
The visit is also an opportunity for the delegation to consider possible areas of co-operation and mutual interest between the two countries on heritage issues. ‘The Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow’ has been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List alongside the ‘City of Bath’.
The Russian delegation was taken around the Roman Baths, Fashion Museum and Victoria Art Gallery (managed by the Council), as well as Bath Abbey. They also took in the Georgian architecture on a walking tour of the main elements of the ‘City of Bath’ World Heritage Site – including a visit to the Guildhall Banqueting Room.
The group was welcomed by members of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Heritage Service Team and representatives of Bath Abbey, as well as World Heritage Consultant Chris Pound and Michael Rowe from the Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery.
Councillor Cherry Beath (Lib-Dem, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “Bath is one of just 28 UK World Heritage Sites and the nation’s only entire city to achieve this prestigious status.
“We are delighted to welcome the Kremlin delegation to appreciate the delights that Bath continues to offer to millions of visitors each year. It’s important for Bath & North East Somerset Council to help develop such close links with other World Heritage Sites and share best practice in managing these irreplaceable historic areas for the benefit of everyone.”
The delegation is being led by the renowned art historian and General Director of the Kremlin Museums, Dr Elena Gagarina, who said: “We are absolutely delighted to come to the city of Bath. We are very experienced travellers and we like to visit something unexpected, something of special interest, and not just the well-known sites. We are open to new things and new experiences.
“We have received a wonderfully warm reception and we wish the city of Bath good luck, prosperity and lots of visitors!”
For more information about Bath & North East Somerset Council’s heritage attractions visit www.bathnes.gov.uk/heritage or call The Roman Baths on 01225 477774, The Fashion Museum on 01225 477789, The Victoria Art Gallery on 01225 477233 and The Bath Record Office on 01225 477421.