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    Visitors in the State Hermitage in St. Petersburg

    Hermitage: From Impressionist Masterpieces to Oriental Antiques

    © RIA Novosti. Vladimir Vyatkin
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    Anna Mikhailova
    Hermitage: A Chest of Treasures (5)
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    One thing that never ceases to fascinate the visitors is how big the Hermitage is. The museum is home to a collection of over three million items and you will need eleven years to view everything this unique museum has on display.

    The museum is housed in 10 buildings, 7 of which are monuments of Russian architecture from the 18th and 19th centuries. The bulk of the collection is kept in the Winter Palace, which is connected to the Small Hermitage and the Old Hermitage.  Together they form the Main Museum Complex, while just across the Palace Square you will find a spectacular neoclassical mansion, the General Staff Building.

    The Hermitage uses the former General Staff headquarters, apart of the museum since 1993, to display permanent exhibitions dedicated to Russian pre-revolution military history. In 2013, a large-scale project reconstructed the eastern wing of the building, which now houses the modern art collection. In the last two years, this venue has hosted major events such as the Contemporary Art of Japan Exhibition and the Manifest Biennale, held in Russia for the first time ever.

    Another building which was recently restored by the Hermitage is a storage facility in Staraya Derevnya (or Old Village) on the outskirts of St. Petersburg. No other museum in Russia has an open storeroom, which provides the visitors with the unique possibility to see exhibits which have never been on public display.

    This remarkable project, started in 1990 and completed only a decade later, is designed to securely and scientifically store the vast works of the Hermitage which are not part of the permanent displays, while giving public access to this wealth of historic and artistic artifacts. Using state-of-the-art storage and display techniques, the Hermitage Storage Facility covers more than 35,000 square meters of floor space and comprises of restoration workshops and lecture halls as well as the vast 'open storage' facility.

    And let us not forget the other Hermitage buildings; the Menshikov Palace, the Museum of Porcelain, the Hermitage Theatre and recently renovated Konstantinovsky Palace, where permanent exhibitions are now held.

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    Hermitage: A Chest of Treasures (5)
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