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The Greater Hermitage Project. Stage One: Request for Proposals

On Thursday, 1st April 1999, a press conference was held by Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky, Director of the State Hermitage Museum, at the International Press Club in Moscow. The subject was the Greater Hermitage Project, which involves the adaptation of the majority of the historical buildings around Palace Square, St. Petersburg, for the purposes of museum education and entertainment. Here, galleries and lecture halls will exist side by side with museum cafes and restaurants, theatres and concert halls, virtual reality centres and spaces for electronic art.

The first stage in the realisation of the Greater Hermitage Project is the reconstruction of the eastern wing of the General Staff Building and the Victory Arch, which have already been transferred to museum control. In 1999, the first exhibitions of decorative and applied art will open here. Initial agreement has been given to future museum use of the Naval Archive (as a public art library), the building of the former First Battalion of the Preobrazhensky Guards (as an Archaeological Museum), and the building of the Guards HQ (as a Museum of the Russian Guards). In February 1999, the State Hermitage Museum distributed to prestigious and innovative foreign and Russian developers a detailed description (Request for Proposals) for this first stage of the Greater Hermitage Project.

A number of foreign foundations have already expressed interest in the project and initial work has been financed by the World Monuments Fund in Great Britain and the American Friends of the Hermitage (New York). The project is supported by UNESCO, which has provided administrative and organisational support. At the present time, realisation of the project is being supported by the Interros company.

On 12 March 1999 the Greater Hermitage Project was presented by the City of St. Petersburg at the MIPIM investment conference in Cannes, where it attracted great interest amongst leading foreign developers, contractors and consultants. It has been widely reported in the international press, with detailed articles in major European and North American publications, including The Financial Times, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal and The Daily Telegraph.


 
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The official homepage of the State Hermitage Museum: www.hermitagemuseum.org

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