The international conference of the heads of the largest museums, which opens in Dallas (Texas) on Wednesday, will make it possible to discuss issues of cooperation between Russia and the US in the humanitarian sphere, Russian Special Presidential Representative for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoi said in telephone conversation with TASS on Tuesday. Shvydkoi is going to take part in the conference.

“Two sessions are two be held in Dallas: one will be a discussion between Hermitage Director Mikhail Piotrovsky and Director of New York’s Museum of Modern Art Glenn Lowry, and the second one will involve representative for the US Department of State Nicholas Berliner and me,” Shvydkoi said. “The possibility itself to conduct a public dialogue with the American side shows that there are opportunities for a normal dialogue, which remained frozen for many years, in the humanitarian sphere and in the spheres of cultural education and scientific cooperation. I suppose that both the American partners and we understand that a dialogue, even fruitless, is still better than confrontation.”

Shvydkoi said he already held a meeting in the US Department of State on Monday. “It showed that the American side also understands that it is very important to return the opportunities for museum exchanges. Of course, not just Russian, but American museums as well need these or those exhibitions,” he highlighted, adding that “the upcoming discussion should clarify the sore points that we have.”

“We started discussing the agreement between the US and the Russian Federation on the guarantees of protection of Russian cultural values, directed at the temporary exhibiting in the US,” Shvydkoi said.

 “This agreement has been under discussion since 2013. The discussion was suspended in 2014, and now two rounds of consultations between the Foreign Ministry and the Department of state were held already, which showed that it is possible to achieve a result that both sides would be satisfied with. Further on, much will depend on the degree to which this document will be coordinated.”

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