23 September 2013 an art exhibition of drawings by Estonian and Russian children – participants of the International Children’s Drawing Contest “Narva and Ivangorod: united by border” was opened in the exhibition hall of the Leningrad Region Government.

On that day likeminded people from different countries and cities gathered in Saint-Petersburg. Children’s works done in various techniques were the beginning of an adult conversation about the present and future plans of the unique complex – an ensemble of two fortresses.

Director of the State Budget Institution of Culture “Museum Agency” Tatiana Balt opening the exhibition accentuated the main idea of the exhibition: “The border that runs along the river Narva today doesn’t divide but unites the lives of two cities in different directions giving impulse to the development of new businesses and undertakings. “

Head of the Department of Social Affairs of Administration of MF “City Ivangorod” – coordinator of the project “Development of a unique ensemble of the Estonian-Russian fortresses as a single tourism product. 2nd stage / EstRusFortTour-2”, co-funded by Cross-Border Cooperation Programme Estonia – Latvia – Russia in the framework of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument for 2007 – 2013 Irina Seliverstova drew attention on the fact that children, their creative works allowed again to make sure that “prinarovskaya area” with its tremendous historical and cultural potential is an example of good neighborhood and cooperation.

The opening of the exhibition took place in the framework of the European Cooperation Day, so the staff of Ivangorod museum acquainted visitors with the history and practice of the Day.

Project Manager Natalia Orava made a presentation on “Cross-border cooperation : Narva- Ivangorod ” emphasizing a feature of Narva and Ivangorod as border cities that actively cooperate , implementing joint projects in infrastructure , tourism, preservation of cultural and historical heritage of their cities.

Participants welcomed the guests of the exhibition of a large-scale project “Development of a unique ensemble of frontier fortresses of Narva and Ivangorod as a single cultural and tourist attraction .”

Exhibition of drawings will be open to the public daily until September 30, 2013 from 11.00-17.00 in the exhibition hall of the Government of the Leningrad Region at Smolny ,3 in St. Petersburg.

The competition and exhibition were organized with the support of the project “Development of a unique ensemble of the Estonian-Russian fortresses as a single tourism product. 2nd stage / EstRusFortTour-2” which is directed at improving an access to unique fortification ensemble of Narva and Ivangorod, and among other things, it includes improvement of access roads infrastructure to the fortresses.

The total project budget is EUR 1 824 564, 85, out of which 10% is partners’ co-financing. The Estonia-Latvia-Russia Program co-financing is EUR 1 642 108,36. Implementation of the project is planned in the period from December 2011 till March 2014.

The overreaching strategic objective of the Estonia-Latvia-Russia cross-border cooperation Programme within European Neighbourhood and Partnership instrument 2007-2013 is to promote joint development activities for the improvement of the region’s competitiveness by utilising its potential and beneficial location in the cross roads between the EU and Russian Federation. The specific objective is to make the wider border area an attractive place for both its inhabitants and businesses through activities aimed at improving the living standards and investment climate. The Programme’s website: www.estlatrus.eu.