Birthday of Maecenas
On 13 April 2007, a ceremony was held to honor the birthday of Caius Cilnius Maecenas, patron of the arts whose name has become synonymous with such sponsorship. These festivities were first celebrated exactly one year ago by the State Hermitage and the editorial board of the journal about social responsibility, the New Maecenas. It has established the principle of a new Petersburg tradition - to reserve 13 April as a Day of Philanthropy and Sponsorship.
This time the ceremony marking the celebration of the "Birthday of Maecenas" began right after the midday firing of the Peter and Paul Fortress cannon with a small concert in the Flag Tower. The firing of the cannon was done by Director of the State Hermitage Mikhail Piotrovsky, State Heraldry Master of the Russian Federation Georgy Vilinbakhov and His Serene Highness Prince Georgy Yurievsky (Switzerland) as well as other well known philanthropists.
The celebrations continued in the Hermitage Theatre, where the picture Maecenas Presents the Arts to Emperor Augustus by the great Venetian artist Giovanni Batista Tiepolo was brought from its permanent place in one of the Italian rooms of the New Hermitage. Representatives of the business elite, the administration of St Petersburg, directors of charitable foundations, well known personalities from the cultural world and journalists gathered around the work.
On this day modern day philanthropists presented a gift to the Russian Ethnographic Museum. His Serene Highness Prince Georgy Yurievsky gave a valuable present to the St Panteleimon Church. The guests were offered pages from the history of philanthropy and arts patronage in Russia, whose hero was Mikhail Sidorov. Some musical renditions by students of St Petersburg Conservatory Professor the legendary horn player Benjamin Margolin entertained the guests while they leafed through the pages of the just published April issue the New Maecenas. The editorial board joined the D.S. Likhachev International Charitable Foundation in presenting a hundred volume collection of classical Russian literature to the children's orphanage of the Slantsevsky Raion, Leningrad Oblast.