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    HERMITAGE'S BRANCH IN AMSTERDAM GAIN POPULARITY

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    HAGUE, April 1, 2004. (RIA Novosti). Over 35,000 people have visited the branch of the St. Petersburg's State Hermitage, which opened in Amsterdam on February 28, director of the new museum Dr. Ernst Veen said on Thursday.

    According to him, at first 40,000 were expected to attend the museum in a year.

    One euro from each sold ticket to Amsterdam's branch goes to the Hermitage in Russia. This money will be used on repairs and restoration.

    Expositions of the Hermitage treasures will be renewed every six months in Amsterdam. Six halls with the total area of 600 square meters were open in the Dutch capital. The present exposition "Gold of the Greeks" features gold articles of ancient Greeks who lived in the Black Sea area. It will run until August 29.

    The exposition of personal effects and works of art of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra will open on September 18.

    All the premises of Amsterdam's branch of the Hermitage (4,000 square meters) will be open by 2008. Then it will be possible to organize major exhibitions and to show works by world famous artists kept in the Hermitage depositories.

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