Oleg Deripaska receives Philanthropist of the Year award

Oleg Deripaska, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Russia' largest industrial diversified group Basic Element and the founder of one the biggest private charities in Russia Volnoe Delo Oleg Deripaska Foundation, received Philanthropist of the Year award by the Ministry of Culture. The businessman was honored for supporting rich historical and cultural heritage of Kuban.

Oleg Deripaska, one of Russia's most prominent industrialists and philantropists, has been given Philanthropist of the Year award by the Ministry of Culture. Mr Deripaska received the award in recognition of his efforts to support rich historical and cultural heritage of Kuban.

The candidates for the award were nominated by Russian regional culture authorities. After that, a board of experts consisting of renowned artists and culture officials, selected the winners.

Vladimir Medinsky, Minister of Culture said that ten best charity projects were selected out of 80 contenders throughout Russia. Along with Mr Deripaska, Philanthropist of the Year award was given to other famous Russian entrepreneurs, charity foundations and industrial companies.

Volnoe Delo Oleg Deripaska Foundation has been promoting Kuban's historical and culture heritage since 2004. Over 900 million rubles ($30 million) have been allocated to the project's development over the last ten years. Among the most significant initiatives are support of Phanagoria archaeological expedition, Kuban Cossack Choir and publishing of books on the history and culture of Kuban.

Support of Phanagoria archaeological expedition, the Foundation's flagship project, includes the expedition itself, construction and maintenance of scientific and cultural center Phanagoria as well as fellowships for young archaeologists who enter Kuban State University. Volnoe Delo has granted over 350 million rubles ($10 million) to Phanagoria since 2004.

On top of that, Volnoe Delo finances publication of historical and regional literature and participates in the replenishment of library collections in the Krasnodar region. Over 20 books have been published with the Foundation's support since 2004. Among them are three-volume edition of Ancient Heritage of Kuban, a collection of historical narratives by a famous Kuban hisotrian Fyodor Shcherbina and others.

The Foundation has also been involved in search efforts in nine Kuban districts that resulted in reburial of 500 Soviet soldiers who fought in Great Patriotic War on that territory.

As part of its cooperation with regional libraries, Volnoe Delo has given 20,000 volumes of over 500 books as well as 5,000 books about Kuban history to the local libraries. 

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