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Sunday, 8 September 2002


1. At the end of this wonderful evening of music I am delighted to offer a cordial greeting to all of you, Ladies and Gentlemen, who have participated in the Concert promoted by the Foundation the "World of Art" of Moscow as part of the programme "A Thousand Cities of the World".

I greet Mr Dimitry Medvedev, deputy director for administration of the President of the Russian Federation and the other authorities who are here with him. I also greet Ambassador Vitaly Litvin, Representative of the Russian Federation to the Holy See and I thank him for the sentiments of respect that earlier he expressed in my regard. I greatly rejoice over the wonderful message sent by the Patriarch of Moscow and of All Russia for this event, His Holiness Alexis II. May my respectful and cordial greeting reach him.

2. I also greet the President of the Foundation "World of Art", Mr Vladislav Teterin, and I express to him and to his colleagues my profound gratitude for this gift which I have deeply appreciated. I extend my best wishes so that your meritorious foundation may be able with its many activities to contribute to the spread of the human and spiritual values which constitute the indispensable foundation for all the genuine moral, civil and cultural progress of Europe and of the whole of humanity.

I also express my appreciation to the Symphony Orchestra of the Russian State, directed by Maestro Marc Gorenshtein, who have played with great and passionate skill and to the Choir of the Academy of Art and to the Junior UNESCO Choir, directed by Maestro Victor Popov, who with outstanding talent and finesse have interpreted exacting musical selections.

In the name of all those present, I renew cordial gratitude to the promoters of the evening, and to the talented orchestra and singers, especially to the soprano Angela Gheorghiu and the tenor Roberto Alagna. I hope that other similar initiatives may contribute to fostering understanding and dialogue among persons and peoples.

3. In whishing you all great success for the initiatives of the programme "A thousand Cities of the World", I implore on each of you present the Lord's Blessing.


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