The International Exhibition of Calligraphy — the main cultural event of 2010 in Veliky Novgorod

The International Exhibition of Calligraphy is the world's largest project dedicated to writing as an exquisite art form and its culture. The project has been implemented under the auspices of the Russian Federation Commission for UNESCO since 2009 and its highest level of organization is marked by the UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry).

The first International Exhibition of Calligraphy in Russia was successfully held in St. Petersburg (September, 16th-21st 2008) with the second one in Moscow (October 14th – November 14th, 2009). Today the figures indicate the rate of growing interest in calligraphy during the year. The number of visitors has doubled and amounted to about 30 thousand people. The exhibition was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.

The 3rd International Exhibition of Calligraphy is to be held in Velikiy Novgorod from September 10th-12th, 2010 at Yaroslav's Court. Sergey Mitin, Governor of the Novgorod area and Head of the Organizing Committee expressed his confidence in the exhibition to become the main cultural event of 2010 in the city. The venue was not chosen by chance. Velikiy Novgorod has been the keeper of a thousand years of Russian culture and the ancient Orthodox center, which is especially important. The art of calligraphy preserves and sustains cultural and religious traditions of various countries. At the same time it brings together people of different faiths in multinational Russia and other countries, and demonstrates the common spiritual and moral foundations of the civilization. This is emphasized in the welcome letters of the spiritual leaders of major religious denominations, among them Kirill I, Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus'; Berel Lazar, Chief Rabbi of Russia; and Ravil Gainutdin, Grand Mufti, President of the Russia mufties Council.

The recorded history of Velikiy Novgorod starts almost simultaneously with the history of ancient Russia. Here, with the advent of Christianity, written culture began to arise. It is in Novgorod that birch bark manuscripts, written records of 11-15th centuries, have been found. It testifies to the high literacy of the population.

The project is constantly expanding. Its members are well-known calligraphers and painters from around the world. Among the exhibits are calligraphic paintings, items of applied calligraphy, materials and tools for writing, and unique masterpieces, including those of the Guinness World Records. Masters from more than 40 countries will take part in the 3rd International Exhibition of Calligraphy with its basis on the Sacred Calligraphy collection.

A business programme full of events is expected with master-classes with famous calligraphers, a concert and national cuisines. The night of September 12th will see thematic exhibits of Novgorod Kremlin museums as part of the International Exhibition project. In addition, an exotic wakeboarding tournament with famous athletes from Russia and Europe will be held during the exhibition. Wakeboarding can be compared to water-skiing with the rider behind a boat, performing stunts on the water but on a special wakeboard.

Velikiy Novgorod will be the last Russian city the exhibition is to be held in. Then the project departs on a world tour. In 2011 the exhibition will be presented in Paris with New York, Jerusalem and Shanghai to be on the way.

The exhibition is organized by the Contemporary Museum of Calligraphy, the National Union of Calligraphers and MVK International Exhibition Company. The project’s mission is to form a beautiful and healthy society and the goal is to show the cultural and educational role of calligraphy in the spiritual development of personality.

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