Count Ioannis Kapodistrias (1776 – 1831) was a Greek Foreign Minister of the Russian Empire and one of the most distinguished politicians and diplomats of Europe, credited with founding the neutrality of Switzerland and the formation of the Modern Greek State.
His life and European contribution will be the topic of a joint film production between Russia, Greece and Switzerland. The initiative forms part of a broader campaign which will culminate in 2016, year of Greek-Russian Friendship. In this context, the two countries are working on a series of events, highlighting bilateral cooperation in multiple fields, ranging from culture, religion and tourism to energy and trade. Director Tasos Lertas speaks of a personal dream coming true. “The idea has been on my mind for decades”, but it was only recently that the two countries became formally involved.
Kapodistrias was born in Corfu and belonged to one of the prominent and noble families of the island. At that time, Corfu was under Russian protection and the Italian educated Kapodistrias managed to reach the top ranks of Russian diplomacy, becoming Minister of Foreign Affairs at the age of 39. It was in this capacity that he travelled extensively and actively participated in a mission to secure Swiss unity, independence and neutrality.
In 1827, he gave up his successful diplomatic career to assume the office of Governor of the newly liberated Greek state. He was assassinated four years later.