Co-operation With the State Hermitage Museum
The co-operation of the "Interros" group with the State Hermitage started
on December 5, 1997 when Vladimir Potanin representing ONEXIM Bank and
Mikhail Piotrovsky representing the State Hermitage signed an agreement
that focused on the combining efforts in order to preserve cultural heritage
of Russia. It was at this time when the partners began implementing the
project "Pages of the Hermitage History".
In autumn 1998 holding company "Interros" assumed liability of ONEXIM
Bank before the partner and started to finance the project "Pages of the
Hermitage History". Researchers of the State Hermitage Museum worked out
the computerized version of the programme "Pages of the Hermitage History"
for the Internet. The first book of the series called "Records of the
meetings of the Hermitage Council. 1918-1919" will be issued in the nearest
The new stage of the co-operation of "Interros" group with the State
Hermitage Museum is connected with the project "The Great Hermitage".
It deals with reorganisation of the central historical part of Saint Petersburg.
The Museum faces the problem of creating a cultural centre around the
Palace Square unique in its scale with new exhibition grounds of the State
Hermitage, with an entertainment and commercial centres for the citizens
and guests of Saint Petersburg. This will enable the State Hermitage Museum
to become the museum of the 21st century. Holding company "Interros" has
already financed creation of the Operational Design bureau in the General
Staff building entitled to make the choice of a contractor or a consortium
of contractors that will be resposible for the project "The Great Hermitage".
Another step in realisation of the project "The Great Hermitage" is the
exhibition "The Realms of the Eagle" opened in December 1999 in the General
Staff building thanks to financial support of Ms. Jayne Wrightsman (USA)
and the president of the holding company "Interros" Vladimir Potanin.
The applied art articles of the Empire style brightened the interiors
designed in 1820-s by the famous architect Carlo Rossi. At the beginning
of the 19th century this part of the building was occupied by the appartments
of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Russia Count Nesselrohde. To our
good fortune the decor of the appartments was almost untouched by time.
Many objects of the epoch of Alexander I and Napoleon I kept in the funds
of the Museum were exhibited for the first time in the historical interiors.
Within the project "The Great Hermitage" in spring 2000 restoration works
were started on the Chariot of Glory, one of the biggest old monuments
of Saint Petersburg. Restoration works of the Hermitage of this sculptural
composition on the General Staff is financed by the state and the holding
The Chariot of Glory on top of the General Staff building (1819-1829,
architect Carlo Rossi) is one of the symbols of Saint Petersburg. The
monument was constructed to the design of sculptors Vasily Demut-Malinovsky
and Stepan Pimenov in 1828 to commemorate Russian victory in the war with
Napoleonic France of 1812-1814 on the initiative of Nicholas I. In 170
years since its creation the Chariot of Glory was restored four times
(the last restoration took place in1906) that being the result of dramatic
historical events and original faults in the construction. For the last
94 years the Chariot of Glory has never been repaired (apart from being
repainted in 1945) and its dilatidated condition as expertize proved has
come to the extreme. The restoration is going to be completed within three
years by the 300 anniversary of the city.