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The Republic of Tatarstan possesses valuable historic and cultural heritage being home to people with various historical past and cultural background. The combination of at least three types of cultural interaction (Turkic, Slavic-Russian, Finno-Ugric) and two religions (Islam and Orthodox Christianity) defines its unique character and cultural and historical diversity.

Destinies of a lot of great artists are connected with Tatarstan. Among them we can mention singer Feodor Chaliapin, writers Leo Tolstoy, Sergey Aksakov, Maksim Gorky and Vasiliy Aksenov, poets Evgeniy Boratynsky, Gavriil Derzhavin, Marina Tsvetaeva and Nikita Zabolotsky, painters Ivan Shyshkin and Nikolay Feshin. The classic Tatar poets are Gabdulla Tukai and Musa Jalil, composer Farid Yarullin, Sofia Gubaidullina and others.

There are 7 creative unions in Tatarstan: those of architects, journalists, composers, theatrical figures and artists.

The republic boasts 14 state theatres with seven of them performing in Tatar, the Gabdulla Tukai Tatar State Philharmonic Hall, the State ensemble of songs and dances of the Republic of Tatarstan, the State symphony orchestra of the Republic of Tatarstan, the State orchestra of folk musical instruments of the Republic of Tatarstan, the Salikh Saidashev Grand Concert Hall of the Republic of Tatarstan which is one of the best in this country, the Kazan State Circus. In 2008, one more creative group was founded, it is the State folk ensemble of Kryashens called “Bermyanchek”.

Tatarstan has 8 secondary special education establishments of culture and art, Kazan State Conservatoire named after Nazib Zhiganov, Kazan State University of Culture and Art.

In 2008, 7 new recreation centers and clubs, 2 museums, 2 libraries were built in Tatarstan, 2 art schools moved to brand new buildings, and the Kazan branch of the Surikov Institute opened its doors for its first students.

One of the examples of the State cultural policy in the sphere of heritage saving and its popularization is the Kazan Kremlin. Thus, during the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of Kazan, thousands of citizens of the republic and guests from abroad witnessed the grand opening of the Kul-Sharif Mosque and the Annunciation Cathedral, that together symbolize the peaceful coexistence of two major religions – Islam and Orthodox Christianity.

The Kazan Kremlin is unparalleled as evidence of historical continuity and cultural diversity within long period of time, with the fact having been confirmed in November 30, 2000 at the session of the intergovernmental committee of UNESCO in Australia, where the Kremlin was inscribed into the List of the World cultural and natural heritage. In September 2005, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Tatarstan issued the decree about creating the Museum of archeology on the territory of the Kazan Kremlin.

On the eve of Kazan’s 1000th anniversary the museum-exhibition complex called Khazine was opened in the building of the former Cadets’ School. It includes the first in the Russian Federation exhibition center “Hermitage-Kazan” – joint project of the State Hermitage, the Ministry of culture and the Kazan Kremlin. Another remarkable event in the cultural life in the Republic took place when the Hermitage, the Louvre and Kazan opened a joint exhibition called “From China to Europe. The art of the Islamic world”.

The National Art Gallery, which is the branch of the State museum of art of the Republic of Tatarstan, and the Museum-memorial of the Grate Patriotic War of 1941 – 1945, are now functioning in the Republic.

In 2007, the City of Yelabuga also celebrated its 1000th anniversary.

Tatarstan hosts three annual international festivals: the Feodor Chaliapin Opera Festival (conducted since 1982), the Rudolf Nuriev Ballet Festival (conducted since 1987), and the Contemporary Music Festival “Europe - Asia” (conducted since 1992).

Since 2005, Kazan has been hosting the Muslim Film Festival Golden Minbar. In 2008, the film forum was held in October and gathered participants from dozens of countries with more then 200 movies.

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