Communiqué from the State Hermitage
The State Hermitage informs the public that at the request of the city leadership it is ready to agree on Rolling Stones and Barbara Streisand concerts being held on Palace Square, assuming due respect will be shown for the conditions which the Hermitage has advanced in the past and continues to advance with regard to all events held near its complex.
These conditions were set out in the longstanding proposals of the Hermitage for amending the regulations governing Palace Square which, for reasons we do not understand, have yet to be adopted. These conditions have served as the basis for holding several musical events on Palace Square which did not elicit any reprimands on the part of museum services. One should especially mention the festive ceremonies commemorating the Siege which, unfortunately, arouse much less interest among the general public than a Rolling Stones concert.
The basic points of the museum's requirements are: that the sound level in the museum zone should stay within 80 decibels, that there should be no obstacles in the way of museum visitors and that all those in attendance on the square be insured (third party coverage). Hermitage staff and experts especially invited by the organizers will monitor the sound level. The Engineering Services of the Hermitage are developing a detailed scheme for regulations on sound to be applied to the Square.
The State Hermitage has been trying on its own to create a workable scheme for dignified life on the Palace Square that is appropriate to the place, its role and its symbolism for the city. During this season Palace Square will be the venue for a traditional concert honoring Victory Day and for a large concert of the Mariinsky Theatre in honor of the Petersburg Economic Forum. During the summer the traditional Hermitage musical festivals will take place in the courtyard of the Winter Palace and in the halls of the museum. These and other initiatives by the Hermitage stand in counterbalance to the existing trend of turning the Winter Palace into a municipal stadium. We publish below the text of the "Agreement on Acceptance" and the letter of the Director of the Hermitage to Vice Governor of St Petersburg S.B. Tarasov.