In the Soviet Union, the 150th anniversary of the writer Leo Tolstoy's birth (9 September) is being marked by exhibitions, ceremonies and reprints of many of his writings.
GV EXT, with large portrait outside (3 shots)
GV INT delegates applauding.
SV Mr Aleksei Kosygin in centre and General Secretary of the Poliburo Mr Leonid Brezhnev on right continue applauding then sit.
SV Delegates in the hall (2 shots)
GV PAN FROM galleries to stage where officials sit under large portrait of Leo Tolstoy.
SV On the stage, Mr. Kosygin and Mr. Brezhnev.
SV Andrei Gromyko on right in group
SV PAN Distinguished guests at ceremony.
GV The official guests on stage.
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Background: In the Soviet Union, the 150th anniversary of the writer Leo Tolstoy's birth (9 September) is being marked by exhibitions, ceremonies and reprints of many of his writings. At the U.S.S.R. Academy of Fine Arts, 1,000 paintings and sculptures are on show, and anniversary publications that include 180 works by Tolstoy are popular. A ceremony at the Bolshoy Theatre was attended by writers, administrators of the arts and government members.
SYNOPSIS: Large portraits of Tolstoy adorn public buildings. The writer's eminence as a literary artist has never been seriously questioned by critics, and the Soviet Union's best known personalities attended an official ceremony in his memory.
At the ceremony were writers from 20 countries of Europe, Asia, the United States, Africa and Australia. The audience heard speeches about Tolstoy and his works. Also present were the Soviet President Mr Leonid Brezhnev, Mr Aleksei Kosygin, and Mr Andrei gromyko.
Tolstoy was individualistic. Born an aristocrat, he later tried to live as a peasant. He was a man of contradictions but above all a prolific and popular writer. His best known works are War and Peace, and Anna Karenina. Experts told the audience that 600 of Tolstoy's works have been published in the Soviet Union, and a million copies are being printed of a 22-volume anniversary collection.