The ceremony for the 2006 Launch of the European Heritage Days took place in the Theatre of the Hermitage Museum on Thursday 21 September in the evening.
Welcoming speeches were given by Mr Andrey Busygin, Deputy Minister of Culture and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation, Mr Mikhail Oseyevsky, Vice-Governor of St Petersburg, Ms Maud De Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and Ms Odile Quintin, Director General for Education and Culture of the European Commission. Ms Vera Dementieva, Chair of the Committee for the State Use and Preservation of Monuments of History and Culture of St Petersburg, spoke about St Petersburg and its European heritage. Mr Jacques Legendre, Chair of the Committee on Culture, Science and Education of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and Mr Dario Ghisletta, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, also made contributions to the ceremony as did Mr Denis de Kergorlay, Vice-President of Europa Nostra, at the present time the Liaison Office of the European Heritage Days.
During the Ceremony, welcoming words were directed towards the City of St Petersburg, the quintessential European city and a symphony of Baroque and Neo-Classical architecture arranged along avenues and canals.