On October 5-6th, 2006 in Moscow there was a joint scientific forum of Russian State Academies of Sciences on the topic: “Health and education of children is a basis for the development of Russian society and state”.

The President of the Russian Academy of Arts Zurab Tsereteli spoke at the plenary meeting on the theme “Art and culture as a basis for the moral health of children and formation of a personality”. The Russian Academy of Arts (former Imperial) is the oldest state artistic entity in Russia which is going to mark its 250th anniversary in 2007. In his report a special attention has been drawn to searches and achievements of the Russian Academy of Arts in the implementation of high priority national projects, to the role and significance of art in the development of Russian state at present.

“The fight through art for well-being of children, their physical and moral health is one of the most important factors of the state policy”, - said Tsereteli.

The formation of a favorable environment for the rising generation is a priority task of modern society. In view of the above, of major significance is the harmonization of the surrounding world by means of art through filling it with colors, diverse forms and monumental content. The activity of the Academy in this area was represented by a number of Zurab Tsereteli’s sculptural compositions and monuments created on a charitable basis. In the United States in the city of Brockport, New York, stands the artist’s sculptural composition “Happiness for Children of the World” consisting of five sculptures symbolizing five continents donated by Tsereteli to the Special Olympic Games for physically challenged children. For students of the University of Fine Arts in Brockport on its campus the sculptor constructed as a gift his sculpture “Prometheus”. In the first Moscow hospice there is Tsereteli’s bronze sculpture to Mother Theresa who was the first to have established children’s orphan asylums in the post-Soviet time.

Among Zurab Tsereteli’s recent initiatives is fighting against AIDS through art. The artist has already created an anti-AIDS monument located in Moscow and depicting the symbols of healthy basis in human life. It resembles two metal rings tied in a strong knot symbolizing wedding rings united by true and eternal love that creates an image of permanent feeling deprived of any ill luck. On the knot there are figures of a man and a woman as symbols of first love, home and firm family not exposed to evil, illnesses and drugs. Such anti-AIDS monuments are conceived to be built throughout the world to win the war on AIDS, the plague of these days. There is a historical precedent, when plague columns – vertical sculptural compositions - were erected nearly in all European cities during the battle against the epidemic of this disease from the Middle Ages till the 18th century.

“The most significant task is to provide children with an opportunity to live in a safe world, to prevent them from horrendous acts of mass destruction such the holocaust, genocide in all its forms as well as terrorism. We should fight for the victory of conscience and tolerance over hatred and terror. It is the principle idea of my monument unveiled on September 11th, 2006 in Bayonne, New Jersey, U.S.A”, - said Tsereteli.

The forum has been arranged by the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Academy of Arts, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Russian Academy of Education, Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Russian Academy of Architecture and Construction Sciences.

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