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Moscow exhibition on Raphael promises record numbers

(AGI) Moscow, Sept 13 - Less than 24 hours after opening at the Pushkin Museum i...

Moscow exhibition on Raphael promises record numbers
 Raffaello al museo Puskin di mosca

(AGI) Moscow, Sept 13 - Less than 24 hours after opening at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, a major exhibition on Raphael devised by the Italian Embassy and sponsored by Rosneft promises to beat every record in terms of visitors. "Raphael and the Poetry of the Face", the first major exhibition on the Urbino-born Master in Russia, only opened on Monday evening, but online tickets are already sold out until the end of October, the organisers announced. Due to the demand, the Pushkin Museum is considering special opening hours, including at night. There is a strong chance the event will beat the record of 300,000 visitors reached by the museum's exhibition on Titian in 2013. The initiative would not have been possible without the excellent political relations that exist between Rome and Moscow today. The exhibition brought eight paintings and three drawings by the Italian Renaissance Master to Russia, and together the works are insured for a total of 430 million euros. The loaning of such precious and delicate masterpieces sparked controversy in Italy, but on Russian media the debate revolves around how much the Pushkin's regulation 45-minute sessions might inconvenience the throngs of expected visitors. A number of high-profile Russian politicians have visited the exhibition, including: the Minister of Culture, Vladimir Medinsky; the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aleksey Meshkov; and Mikhail Shvydkoy, Special Presidential Envoy for International Cultural Cooperation. Numerous exponents from Italy and Russia's cultural and business worlds have also flocked to the museum. The exhibition will run until Dec. 11, with hopes of a visit by President Vladimir Putin, especially since the event is under the exceptional High Patronage of the President of the Russian Federation. Meanwhile, Russian television channels showed hundreds of people queuing well before opening hours on Tuesday morning, some of them having even brought chairs and coffee from home to endure the long wait. (AGI). .