October 21, 2016 - the official delegation of the city of Le Mans, France visited Taganrog within the framework of their visit to Rostov Oblast and the sister city of Rostov on Don. The two cities are celebrating 35 years of their partnership, which was established in 1981.
Mayor of Le Mans Jean-Claude Boulard briefly visited the home city of Anton Chekhov in 2006
, and in 2016 the cultural delegation was led by Mr. Jean-Paul Couasnon, President of Maison De L'Europe Le Mans-Sarthe - Centre D'information Europe Direct and had an eventful program.
The morning started at Taganrog Chekhov Teachers College (part of Rostov State University of Economics) with a meeting of French language students and teachers. The guests from Le Mans were joined by Mr. Vivien Fouquet and Ms. Christina Lougovenko of Alliance Française to share with Russian students recent trends in Russia-France cultural and educational cooperation, information on prospects of new projects in mutual cultural and educational exchanges, finalizing by the presentation of "The French Autumn" International Festival, held in Rostov Oblast from October 10 to December 3, 2016. It features several events, including theater plays, concerts, exhibits, meet-the-artist sessions, etc. Students of Taganrog college had an opportunity to participate in an improvised "express-conference" with Théâtre de l'Acthalia's director Mr. Philipe Corbet and actress Mrs. Evelyne Perlinski. After the meeting at the college, the guests visited Taganrog's downtown area - Peter the Great monument and the city's main tourist attractions - Anton Chekhov
's birth house, Chekhov Gymnasium and Alferaki Palace.
Deputy City Manager for Social Affairs Mrs. Yelena Shelukhina received the cultural delegation in her office. The French guests shared their impressions of the visit and meetings in Taganrog, and told about the upcoming theatrical performances of Théâtre de l'Acthalia in Taganrog and Rostov-on-Don. Jean-Paul Couasnon promised to return next year together with mayor Jean-Claude Boulard and invited Mrs. Shelukhina to visit the city of Le Mans. "Residents of Taganrog love and appreciate theater arts and the audience is always grateful. I hope that the play "Oscar and the Lady in Pink" presented by l'Acthalia
will be a success", told Taganrog's deputy city manager.