New Hermitage Repository Opened in Staraya Derevnya
On 16 May, 2003, was officially opened the Hermitage Repository in Staraya Derevnya. The ceremony became one in the succession of events celebrating the St. Petersburg Tercentenary.
State-of-the-art technologies of storage, restoration, information and security have been used. Close cooperation with a dozen of leading Russian and international companies allowed to equip the center’s seven-storeyed building (area over 16,000 sq.m) with a system of microclimate and other cutting-edge engineering and design achievements.
Finland’s second largest construction company Lemminkainen Construction Ltd (Lemcon Ltd) acted as the project’s general contractor.
Unlike traditional storage areas, the new center will be open to the general public. On a tour of about one kilometer’s length, visitors will be introduced to the basic principles and conditions of the storage of works of art.
Collections of West European, Russian and Oriental art, East European and Siberian archeology and the laboratory of easel painting restoration have already moved into the new center.
Painting Collection of the Department of Russian Culture
The painting collection of the Department of Russian Culture includes about 3.5 thousand works by Russian artists of the 17th - early 20th century and the so-called Rossica. The entire collection except pieces permanently displayed in the museum’s basic buildings will be moved to the new center, where small temporary exhibitions will be organized.
Furniture Collection of the Department of Russian Culture
The collection of Russian furniture totals about 2,500 pieces, encompassing a long period from Peter the Great’s age (first quarter of the 18th century) to the early 20th century. Furniture of various types and shapes is made from redwood, mahogany, Karelian birch and exotic species. Most of this furniture comes from the Winter Palace, suburban residences of the Imperial Family and aristocratic houses of St. Petersburg.
About 1,200 exhibits will be moved to the new storage center, including many pieces dating from the time of Alexander I, the golden age of Russian furniture, and Nicholas I, when after the 1837 conflagration of the Winter Palace its interiors were refurbished.
Furniture Collection of the Department of West European Art
The Hermitage furniture collection includes about 3,000 pieces of furniture made in Italy, Spain, England, France, Holland and Flanders from the 16th to the late 19th centuries. Its third will now be stored in the new center, including a splendid French armchair of the middle 18th century coming from a suite made for the Princess of Parma to the order of her father King Louis XV of France, table created for the wedding of Nicholas I’s daughter Maria Nikolayevna with Duke Maximilian of Leuchtenberg, and the sofa of Nicholas II from the suite made at the factory of Melzer in St. Petersburg for the Cottage Palace in Peterhof.
Exhibits in the new center include tapestries of the Story of Meleager woven after Charles Lebrun’s cartons in Brussels (last quarter of the 17th century, Flanders), vis-a-vis carriage (about 1761, Paris) bought by Ivan Betsky for Catherine II, and the official carriage (1856, St. Petersburg) which was used in coronation celebrations.
The 3rd century marble Roman capital is exhibited in the new center by the Ancient World Department. This is a symbolic inauguration of the new storage area for antique marbles, sculptures, reliefs and architectural details.