A bust of Russian literary giant Leo Tolstoy was unveiled at the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City yesterday to mark ?strong ties? between Cebu in the Philippines and St. Petersburg in the Russian Federation.
The unveiling by Cebu and Russian officials also opened the two-day Philippine-Russian Business Conference.
The bronze bust mounted on a blue-green concrete post was sculpted by Gregory Pototsky, Russia's national artist.
Speaking through an interpreter, Pototsky recalled that Philippine and Russian ties started when hundreds of Russian refugees were welcomed here during World War I.
Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and Cebu's local businessmen welcomed the Russians led by St. Petersburg Vice Governor Igor Metelsky, Vladivostok Mayor Igor Sergeevich Pushkarev, newly-appointed Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Nikolay Kudashev.