Ambassador Andrei Kelin’s welcoming remarks on the opening of “The Arctic: culture and climate” exhibition in the British Museum

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted to welcome you all at the opening of “The Arctic: culture and climate” exhibition, dedicated to the history of exploration of the Far North, traditions and culture of its native peoples, as well as the problem of global climate change.

Russia has greatly contributed to the exploration of the Arctic territories and deposits, innovative technology development, establishment of ecologically safe production and specialists’ training for the extreme environment of the Far North. Russian universities and scientific centres are constantly carrying out research on problems of ecology, as well actively agreeing on the agenda of Russia’s chairmanship in the Arctic Council in 2021.

We are well aware of how much effort was put into organising this exposition, with preparations under way for the past 8 years, which is why it is a great pleasure to see this exhibition take place today, despite all the coronavirus restrictions.

I would like to draw special attention to the fact that “The Arctic: culture and climate” exhibition is a unique project by the British Museum, implemented in cooperation with the Russian Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (also known as the Kuntskamera), which has lent over 50 objects from its collection, including shaman headwear, caftans, tambourines, masks and household items of the northern peoples. Some of these objects are hundreds of years old and have never previously been on display outside Russia.

I believe that Russian-British museum cooperation, which has been developing for many years, is an important factor in promoting our countries’ people to people contacts. A bright example of this, indeed, is today’s opening of the much anticipated exhibition “The Arctic: culture and climate”.

I am convinced that many interesting and successful projects await us in the future.


22 October 2020