The State Hermitage Informs
In April 2009 the Alexander Column and stand lamps were given to the State Hermitage that is confirmed with relative conservation obligations. The fence of the Alexander Column, reconstructed in 2003, not being a museum piece is still in ownership of St Petersburg. To transfer it on the balance of the Hermitage the City Property Management Committee requested a great number of documents and the museum will not be able to carry out restoration of the grate with vandal-proof strengthening of the eagles and other decorative elements before the execution of the documents is complete.
However, the fence (63.9 m in length) around the column is the most vulnerable part of the monument. By the moment the Alexander Column was transferred to the Hermitage the fence had already lost two large three-sided eagles, eighty small guard eagles, as well as 46 tops of spears were lost.
Over the past time the following mode of interaction of the Museum Security Service, the Hermitage Squadron of Militia and the Militia Department No 79 of the Central District of St Petersburg has been settled: surveillance cameras of the State Hermitage Security Service monitor the operational situation around the column during twenty-four hours, the received data is transferred to militia staff, patrolling Palace Square. The procedure of interaction with organizers of the mass events has also been settled, as the result there were no losses during the time of their holding.
Over the time the Alexander Column has been under operational control of the State Hermitage only four small eagles were lost. One was stolen in April 2010 and returned; three eagles were stolen just on a recent day. There was no a chance to catch the wrongdoers but they were shot by the surveillance cameras.
It is necessary to point out that the State Hermitage, having accepted the Alexander Column into custody, carried out inspection of all parts of the monument, unique in its complexity and planned a wide range of actions, directed to its preservation.
Much to our regret is the fact that the State Hermitage and security bodies have to put a lot of time and forces into regulation of something that is usually governed by the conduct standards of the civilized people.