Valeri Belokon attends Vatican-hosted event in the framework of Latvia’s EU Presidency
On 10 March 2015, a culture-specific seminar was held at the Vatican Apostolic Library. The event, organised in the framework of Latvia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU, was specifically dedicated to the unique historical album „Terra Mariana. 1186-1888” republished with scholarly commentaries. Valeri Belokon, the Chairperson of the Council of Baltic International Bank, a patron of arts and a co-sponsor of the project, attended the event at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia.
The seminar was opened by the President of the Pontifical Council for Culture Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi and Monsignor Cesare Pasini, Prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Library. Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Riga and Metropolitan Zbignev Stankevich, Director of the National Library of Latvia Dr Andris Vilks, Latvian Ambassador to the Czech Republic, former Latvian Ambassador to the Holy See, Dr Alberts Sarkanis, the Doctor of Arts Ruta Kaminska, and Vice Prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Library Dr Ambrogio Piazzoni delivered their speeches. In his closing speech, the Latvian Ambassador to the Holy See Dr Einars Semanis emphasised that the work done shows once again the importance of joint efforts of the EU and the Vatican in conserving Europe’s historical and intellectual heritage.
Members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, officials of the Secretariat of State (the government of the Roman Catholic Church), Vatican Radio representatives, academia, and the Ambassador of Latvia to Italy Artis Bertulis were among the attendees.
The guests were treated to a special closing dinner arranged by Valeri Belokon. The dinner was held in Residenza Paolo VI restaurant, located close to St. Peter’s Square, in the premises of the Augustinian Order.
Due to the joint efforts of the National Library of Latvia and the Vatican Apostolic Library, 10 full-size facsimile copies and 1000 reduced-size facsimile copies (together with scholarly commentaries) of the historical album were produced in 2014. Thus, the heritage has become accessible to a wide audience.